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Sud-Ouest SO 4050 Vautour


Jet-Powered Fighter-Bomber Aircraft


France | 1958



"The capable French Sud-Ouest Vautour line would later be replaced by the more advanced Dassault Mirage F1 series fighter jets."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/16/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
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.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Sud-Ouest SO 4050 Vautour IIN Jet-Powered Fighter-Bomber Aircraft.
2 x SNECMA Atar 101E-3 turbojet engines developing 7,716 lb of thrust each.
Propulsion
687 mph
1,105 kph | 597 kts
Max Speed
49,213 ft
15,000 m | 9 miles
Service Ceiling
1,988 miles
3,200 km | 1,728 nm
Operational Range
11,800 ft/min
3,597 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Sud-Ouest SO 4050 Vautour IIN Jet-Powered Fighter-Bomber Aircraft.
2
(MANNED)
Crew
51.1 ft
15.57 m
O/A Length
49.5 ft
(15.09 m)
O/A Width
14.8 ft
(4.50 m)
O/A Height
22,046 lb
(10,000 kg)
Empty Weight
44,092 lb
(20,000 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Sud-Ouest SO 4050 Vautour Jet-Powered Fighter-Bomber Aircraft .
STANDARD:
4 x 30mm DEFA internal autocannons.

OPTIONAL:
240 x Unguided rockets.
2 x Air-to-Air Missiles (AAMs) OR conventional drop bombs / napalm bombs across four total hardpoints (inboard / outboard).

Maximu, loadout up to 9,700lb.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Sud-Ouest SO 4050 Vautour family line.
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.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Sud-Ouest SO 4050 Vautour. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 149 Units

Contractor(s): Sud-Ouest (Sud-Est) - France
National flag of France National flag of Israel

[ France; Israel ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (687mph).

Graph Average of 563 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
149
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
1 / 1
Image of the Sud-Ouest SO 4050 Vautour

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
AIR-TO-AIR COMBAT
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Sud-Ouest SO 4050 Vautour Jet-Powered Fighter-Bomber Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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