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Dassault MD.450 Ouragan (Hurricane)

France (1952)
Picture of Dassault MD.450 Ouragan (Hurricane) Fighter / Fighter-Bomber Aircraft

The Dassault MD.450 Ouragan jet-powered fighter helped to re-establish the once-powerful aviation industry of France in post-World War 2 Europe.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Dassault MD.450 Ouragan (Hurricane) Fighter / Fighter-Bomber Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 11/16/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Dassault MD.450 "Ouragan" (meaning "Hurricane") became France's first home-grown operational, jet-powered, military combat fighter, eventually being produced in several hundred examples during her active tenure. While not a wholly exceptional "fighter" when compared to her contemporaries, the type served particularly well in the fighter-bomber role and saw extensive combat actions with India, El Salvador and Israel. Though she was eventually superseded by improved platforms, her impact on the re-established French aviation industry was permanent and gave rise to the respected Dassault name.

France in Post-War Europe


At the end of World War 2, France found itself a decimated and occupied country, bereft of its aviation industry since the opening days of the German invasion some years before. While other nations - particularly Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States - all evolved their aviation industries to replace their piston-powered fighters with new-fangled jets, France struggled through a post-war period of staleness, often resorting to outright purchases of new or used (yet proven) foreign equipment to number her front-line inventories.

Ouragan Origins


One of those leading the charge to bring back the forgotten French aviation industry was Marcel Dassault. Dassault began private development of a single-seat, jet-powered fighter aircraft in November of 1947. The jet was highly utilitarian in nature with seemingly little to recommend herself but she proved a viable product nonetheless. The design was submitted to the French government for consideration and further development was encouraged. The product took on the designation of MD.450 (the "MD" portion of the designation attributed to its designer, "Marcel Dassault"). Three prototypes were ordered in late 1947 with construction beginning in the spring of 1948 at Saint-Cloud. The selected powerplant became the Rolls-Royce "Nene" 102 turbojet engine, a centrifugal-flow system used primarily in the British Hawker Sea Hawk and Supermarine Attacker though eventually replaced by Rolls-Royce by the improved "Avon" series turbojet. The first MD.450 prototype (MD.450-01) was made airborne on February 28th, 1949 - though lacking major components such as armament and pressurization - under the designation nickname of "Ouragan". Initial performance proved impressive and development pressed on.

The second prototype, MD.450-02, was later delivered (this time with cockpit pressurization) and proved equally promising. Development completed with the MD.450-03 prototype, this fitted with a Hispano-Suiza Nene 104 (a license-produced Rolls-Royce). The third prototype was additionally used in gun trials to find proper armament for the Ouragan airframe.
In late August of 1949, 15 pre-production systems were ordered for service by the French Air Force. The initial order was later cut to a dozen systems. With the contract in place by 1949, production began and went on to include 150 production-level MD.450s. The initial 12 pre-production models were delivered and utilized by the French Air Force for a series of tests to validate various engine and weapons configurations. Over the years, some 200 more MD.450s would be ordered from Dassault, officially emblazing the jet fighter in post-war French aviation lore. The first production MD.450 went airborne on December 5th, 1951, and the Ouragan officially entered service with the "L'Armee de l'Air" (French Air Force) in 1952, replacing the stable of aged De Havilland "Vampires" of British origin.

In service, the Ouragan found a special place in the heart of French pilots, flying with a certain level of national pride in their indigenous jet-powered designs. The Ouragan was noted as a good flyer and could handle herself adequately against her contemporaries elsewhere when in the hands of a trained airman. If the airframe maintained a disadvantage, it was that the system could jump into a spin when attempting the tightest of turns. As dogfighting with cannons required such turns, this particular "tick" was of note.

Ouragan Marks


The initial Ouragan production model became the MD.450A. These were fitted with the Nene 102 series engine and some 50 examples were ultimately delivered. The A-model series served well but were eventually superseded by the definitive MD.450B.

The MD.450B model series featured some modifications but - greatest of these - was the inclusion of the Hispano-Suiza Nene 104B series turbojet engines, license-produced versions of their British counterparts. These new powerplants proved lighter in overall weight and offered up better thrust output, both key qualities benefitting the Ouragan design. Of note with this mark was also the revision of the forward landing gear door covering the nose leg. The original four-piece system was replaced by a simpler two-piece unit after it was shown that the firing of the cannons could regularly damage the more complicated offering.

The rest of the Ouragan marks were generally contained to a few production examples or prototype/modified "one-offs". This included the MD.450R dedicated reconnaissance variant of which only one was ever produced. Similarly, only a single prototype existed of the MD.450-30L which attempted to field the Ouragan with a SNECMA Atar 101B-series engine. The intakes were also relocated to the sides of the fuselage and original armament was replaced by a pair of 30mm DEFA cannons. In 1954, four Ouragans were also converted to "rough-field" operations (to be used in Algeria) by the addition of a brake parachute, low pressure tires and undercarriage fairings. Two of these Ouragans were reverted back to their original forms after the project was cancelled in 1958.

Ouragan Walk-Around


Design of the Ouragan was fairly straight-forward. She fitted low-mounted, slightly swept wings along a cylindrical fuselage. The engine, buried within the fuselage, was aspirated by a split, single-opening, circular nose-mounted intake. The cockpit was held just aft of the intake under a blister-style canopy with light framing and a raised rear section. Wings were fitted amidships and sported greater sweep along the leading edges with lesser sweep along the trailing edges. There was slightly noticeable dihedral across both wing assemblies. WIngtip fuel tanks helped to increase range from the thirsty turbojet engine - a common fixture among 1950s-era fighter aircraft. The empennage tapered off smoothly and mounted a vertical tail fin with mid-mounted stabilizers. The engine exhausted at the extreme rear through a circular ring just under the vertical tail fin. Airbrakes were located along the lower sides of the empennage. The undercarriage was of a powered tricycle variety, featuring two main single-wheeled landing gear legs and a single-wheeled nose landing gear leg. All were gully retractable with the nose leg retracting forwards ahead of the cockpit floor and the main legs retracting inwards under each wing towards the fuselage centerline.

Propulsion


Power (for the MD.450B model) was derived from a single Hispano-Suiza "Nene" 104B series turbojet engine (a license-built Rolls-Royce powerplant) delivering upwards of 5,070lbs of thrust. Performance specifications included a maximum speed of 584 miles per hour with a service ceiling of about 49,210 feet and a rate-of-climb equal to 7,480 feet per minute. Range was limited to 620 miles.

Armament


Standard armament centered around 4 x 20mm Hispano-Suiza HS.404 series cannons. The battery was held underneath the forward fuselage and each gun managed approximately 125 rounds each. The four-gun assembly was arranged in a staggered formation with the internal set of cannons held slightly forward of the out pair.

Key to the success of the Ouragan lay in its multi-role capability - predominantly as that of a fighter-bomber. As such, the type could field rockets and conventional drop bombs (including napalm) as needed. Standard fixtures included individually-mounted 16 x 105mm (4.1-inch) Brandt T-10 air-to-surface unguided rockets. These could be replaced by 2 x Matra rocket-launching pods, each fielding 18 x SNEB 68mm explosive rockets. Conventional drop bombs ran the gamut of 500lbs to 1,000lb bombs (the latter mounted one to a wing) and deadly napalm types - up to 5,000lbs of external stores could be managed across four hardpoints. Additionally, ordnance could be replaced by external drop tanks for increased range, suitable for combat air patrols or reconnaissance sorties where bombs were of little use and cannons reigned.

It is of note that French pilots regarded the Ouragan as a stable platform for both cannon and rockets, owing well to her strong history of use as a fighter-bomber.

Combat History


India flew their Ouragans as the Toofani ("Hurricane") and used them in anger in a variety of limited actions. In 1961, Toofanis were used in the fighter-bomber role against Diu, a Portuguese-held colony, until ultimately occupied by the Indian military in December of that year. Similarly, Toofanis were used in the ground strike role against anti-government forces within her national borders. The type proved useful in the reconnaissance role and was sued as such during the Sino-Indian War with China in 1962. Toofanis operated with the burgeoning Indian Air Force as front-line systems until being replaced by the newer French Dassault Mystere IVA beginning in 1957. All active Toofanis were then retired by 1965.

El Salvador obtained Ouragans from Israel from 1973 to 1978 in an attempt to modernize its outdated air force. These Ouragans featured heavily in the Salvadorian Civil War spanning from 1980 to 1992, primarily as fighter-bombers against communist forces (known as FMLN). Ouragans were eventually dropped from heavy use by the end of the conflict, replaced by the excellent Cessna A-37 "Dragonfly" from America.

The Israelis perhaps got the most from their Ouragans in terms of combat action and success. Beginning in 1956, IAF Ouragans were engaged against Egyptian forces and claimed several Egyptian De Havilland Vampire to their name. While Egypt also fielded the excellent Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 "Fagot" jet-powered fighters, Egyptian pilots rarely understood the power inherent in their Soviet systems. Performance of MiG-15s generally outclassed that of the French rival but Israeli pilot prowess enabled their Ouragans to outshine their adversaries in most respects. Israel was also keen in the fighter-bomber qualities of the Ouragan and did not shy away from bombing strikes or rocket attacks - the latter leading to the capture of the Egyptian destroyer, Ibrahim-el-Awal. More combat followed in the 1967 Six Day War until the type was relagted to advanced jet training for future generation of Israeli fighter pilots.

Patrouille de France


The Ouragan became the standard mount of the "Patrouille de France" - France's aerobatic team - from 1954 to 1957. This made her the first French-made equipment in such service.

Closure


The Ouragan was replaced in French Air Force service by the Dassault Mystere IV by 1961.






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.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (584mph).

    Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Dassault MD.450B Ouragan (Hurricane)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
454
454


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


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Origin: France
Year: 1952
Type: Fighter / Fighter-Bomber Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Dassault Aviation - France
Production: 454
Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Global Operators:
El Salvador; France; Israel; India
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Dassault MD.450B Ouragan (Hurricane) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
35.24 ft


Meters
10.74 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
43.31 ft


Meters
13.2 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
13.62 ft


Meters
4.15 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
9,149 lb


Kilograms
4,150 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
16,755 lb


Kilograms
7,600 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Hispano-Suiza Nene 104b turbojet engine developing 5,070 lb of thrust.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
584 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
940 kph


Knots
508 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
621 mi


Kilometers
1,000 km


Nautical Miles
540 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
49,213 ft


Meters
15,000 m


Miles
9.32 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
7,480 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
2,280 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

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Graphical image of an aircraft air-to-surface missile
Graphical image of aircraft aerial rockets
Graphical image of an aircraft rocket pod
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Graphical image of an aircraft external fuel tank
Armament - Hardpoints (4):

STANDARD:
4 x 20mm Hispano-Suiza HS.404 cannons under the forward fuselage.

OPTIONAL:
16 x 105mm (4.1-inch) Brandt T-10 unguided, air-to-surface rockets.
2 x Matra rocket pods (18 x SNEB 68mm rockets each).
2 x 1,000lb bombs
2 x 121-gallon Napalm bombs
2 x Fuel Drop Tanks

Up to 5,000lbs of external stores across four hardpoints.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• MD.450A - Initial Production Model Designation; fitted with Rolls-Royce Nene 102 series engines; 50 examples produced.
• MD.450B - Fitted with Hispano-Suiza Nene 104B engine; revised landing gear doors for nose wheel leg.
• MD.450R - Proposed dedicated reconnaissance variant; single example produced.
• MD.450-30L - Pre-Production Prototype fitting a SNECMA Atar series 101b engine; air intakes relocated to sides of fuselage; armament of 2 x 30mm DEFA cannons; single example constructed.
• "Barougan" - Four Ouragon production examples converted for rough-field operations; fitted with brake parachute and low-pressure tires.
• "Toofani" ("Whirlwind") - Indian Export Designation.