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Sud-Ouest SO 4050 Vautour

Fighter-Bomber Aircraft

Sud-Ouest SO 4050 Vautour

Fighter-Bomber Aircraft

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The capable French Sud-Ouest Vautour line would later be replaced by the more advanced Dassault Mirage F1 series fighter jets.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: France
YEAR: 1958
MANUFACTURER(S): Sud-Ouest (Sud-Est) - France
PRODUCTION: 149
OPERATORS: France; Israel
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Sud-Ouest SO 4050 Vautour IIN model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 2
LENGTH: 51.08 feet (15.57 meters)
WIDTH: 49.51 feet (15.09 meters)
HEIGHT: 14.76 feet (4.5 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 22,046 pounds (10,000 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 44,092 pounds (20,000 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x SNECMA Atar 101E-3 turbojet engines developing 7,716 lb of thrust each.
SPEED (MAX): 687 miles-per-hour (1105 kilometers-per-hour; 597 knots)
RANGE: 1,988 miles (3,200 kilometers; 1,728 nautical miles)
CEILING: 49,213 feet (15,000 meters; 9.32 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 11,800 feet-per-minute (3,597 meters-per-minute)




ARMAMENT



STANDARD:
4 x 30mm cannons

OPTIONAL:
240 x Unguided rockets
2 x air-to-air missiles OR bombs
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• Vautour - Base Series Designation
• S.O.M. 1 Un-powered Half-Scale Research Glider
• S.O.M. 2 - Powered Half-Scale Research Glider; fitted with Rolls-Royce Derwent turbojet engine.
• S.O. 4000 - Full Scale Prototype; fitted with 2 x Hispano-Suiza license-built Rolls-Royce-brand Nene turbojet engines.
• S.O. 4050 - Series Designation; single (1 built) and dual (2 built) seat prototypes constructed - 3 total; fitted with 2 x SNECMA Atar 101B turbojet engines; third prototype fitted with Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire engines; 6 x pre-production aircraft.
• S.O. 4050 Vautour II-A - 30 examples produced; fitted with 2 x SNECMA Atar 101E turbojet engines of 7,716lbs; single seat ground attack version.
• S.O. 4050 Vautour IIB - 40 examples produced; two-seat bomber variant.
• S.O. 4050 Vautour IIN - 70 examples produced; night-fighter variant with specialized equipment.
• S.O. 4050 Vautour II1N - II-N models when fitted with slab-type tailplanes.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Sud-Ouest SO 4050 Vautour Fighter-Bomber Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 6/19/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
These limited-production aircraft served with little distinction in French hands but were better served as night fighters and attack aircraft by the Israeli Air Force in later years. The aircraft is oft-noted for its design similarities to the Soviet Yakovlev Yak-28 but it became a very different aircraft altogether. The system was produced in only three mission-specific variants and formed the core of Soviet deterrent in France during the Cold War. The portly-looking Vautour (meaning "Vulture") served for an impressive 15 years with the French Air Force eventually being replaced by the more capable Mirage F1 series.

The Vautour was initially derived from half-scale research glider testing in powered and engine-less forms. From there, a full scale prototype was born with the designation of S.O. 4000 to which these were fitted with Hispano-Suiza turbojets (x2), license-production copies of the British Rolls-Royce Nene. With the arrival of the official designation, S.O. 4050, the Vautour was produced in three prototypes that included two 2-seat versions and a one single-seat version. the initial two-seat variant was designed as a night fighter while the second appeared as a single-seat ground-attack derivative. The final prototype was a two-seat dedicated bomber. All versions differed mainly from one another by their selection of powerplants. Engines were later standardized for production in the SNECMA Atar 101E 7,716 pound thrust engine regardless of dedicated role.




The three major variants became the Vautour II-A attack aircraft - fitted with 4 x 20mm cannons and bombs - the Vautour II-B - a dedicated bomber with a redesigned and glazed nose assembly for the bombardier - and the Vautour II-N nightfighter with the "N" in the designation indicating this specific role. The nightfighter variant was fitted with specialized interception radar in the nose and was of the two-seat design. In all, just some 70 aircraft of all three types were ever delivered despite the initial desire for the French government to field some 140 total Vautours.

Externally, the Vautour was a very standard aircraft design. The fuselage allowed for either the single or two-seat crew accommodation to be used depending on the production model. Engines were held outward of the fuselage under each wing and the crew sat high and forward on the stout airframe. A single vertical tail surface was held at rear with high-mounted elevators creating the distinct "T" tail assembly. Two hardpoints allowed for the carrying of air-to-air missiles or unguided rockets. Standard armament was a battery of 4 x 20mm cannons - two to a side in the nose.

Israel took delivery of at least 18 Vautours after testing their capabilities. These Vautours formed two squadrons and replaced aging British Mosquitos in attack and interception roles. The Vautour performed admirably well in Israeli hands in day or night roles. Their exposure to combat gradually diminished with the arrival of more capable French and American made aircraft.




MEDIA









Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (687mph).

    Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
MSK
 
  TKY
TKY
 
  SYD
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  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Sud-Ouest SO 4050 Vautour IIN's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
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Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
149
149

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


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Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Supported Arsenal
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Commitments / Honors
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Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
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Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
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Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
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Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
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* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.