Back in 1953, design studies undertaken by the Breguet concern of France resulted in the development and ultimate flight of the Br.1001 "Taon", a single-seat strike fighter project of 1957 intended as a "common" platform for the newly-founded NATO and its various European participants. During this time, the same air frame was also furthered down the path of a missile-carrying interceptor, the proposed - but ultimately-abadoned - "Br.1002".
The Br.1002 was a direct offshoot of the Br.1001 work but, instead of incorporating the latter's Bristol Siddeley "Orpheus" single turbojet engine arrangement, a twin Armstrong Siddeley "Viper" configuration was selected instead. This was to help the interceptor reach the expected speed of Mach 2.0. Also, the bifurcated air intake of the Br.1001 was revised to a nose-mounted design complete with shock cone (as in the much more famous Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 "Fishbed" interceptor). The cockpit was retained just aft of the short nose section and the horizontal tailplanes were fitted to the single rudder fin itself. The mainplanes were mid-mounted and showcased a great deal of sweepback (approximately 45-degrees) for the proposed speeds required of this machine. A tricycle undercarriage was to figure into the design for ground-running and be of a reinforced nature to allow for operations on rough fields.
To achieve the quick-reaction needed of an interceptor of the Cold War period (1947-1991), the twin turbojet engines would be supplemented by an SEPR rocket motor for boost power. This unit would be installed under the tail and under the twin exhaust ports of the turbojets. All told, the Viper turbojets would have outputted 2,025lb of thrust each with the rocket adding an additional (albeit short-lived) 3,375lb of thrust power. Estimated straight line speeds would have reached in the vicinity of Mach 1.5.
As a missile-carrying interceptor, the aircraft was drawn up with a single air-to-air missile held semi-recessed under the belly. Beyond this, no other air-to-air weapons were noted.
As fleshed out, the interceptor was originally given an overall length of 27.10 feet with a span of 21.3 feet. Gross weight was to reach around 8,665lb. After some modification, however, the fuselage was considerably lengthened to 42.7 feet while the wings were appropriately stretched to a span of 24.7 feet.
Despite its relatively promising nature, the supersonic Br.1002 ended its days as nothing more than a "paper" airplane, a product of post-World War 2 French jet fighter design that would join many others going from the drawing boards to the file cabinet and, ultimately, falling away to history. It appears that there were enough issues already plaguing the design on paper that kept the project from advancing within the company ranks.
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