Dassault Super Mystère

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Super Mystère
SuperMystereB2.JPG
Role Fighter-bomber
Manufacturer Dassault Aviation
First flight 2 March 1955
Retired 1977 (French Air Force)
Status Retired
Primary users French Air Force
Israeli Air Force
Honduras Air Force
Produced 1956–77
Number built 180

The Dassault Super Mystère was a French fighter-bomber, the first Western European supersonic aircraft to enter mass production.

Design and development[edit]

The Super Mystère represents the final step in evolution which began with the Dassault Ouragan and progressed through the Mystère II/III and Mystère IV. While earlier Mystère variants could attain supersonic speeds only in a dive, the Super Mystère could exceed the speed of sound in level flight. This was achieved thanks to the new thin wing with 45° of sweep (compared with 41° of sweep in the Mystère IV and only 33° in Mystère II) and the use of an afterburner-equipped turbojet engine.

The first prototype Super Mystère B.1, powered by a Rolls-Royce Avon RA.7R, took to the air on 2 March 1955. The aircraft broke the sound barrier in level flight the following day. The aircraft entered production in 1957 as the Super Mystère B.2. The production version differed from the prototype by having a more powerful SNECMA Atar 101G engine. In 1958, two Super Mystère B.4 prototypes were built. Equipped with a new 48° swept wing and a more powerful SNECMA Atar 9B engine, the aircraft were capable of Mach 1.4. Production never materialized because the faster Dassault Mirage III was entering service. In 1973, the Israeli Air Force and Honduras Air Force upgraded their Super Mystère B.2s with a non-afterburning version of the Pratt & Whitney J52-P8A and new avionics. They were called Sa'ar (Storm).

A total of 180 Super Mystère B.2s were built.

Operational history[edit]

The Super Mystère served with the French Air Force until 1977. In addition, 24 aircraft were sold to the Israeli Air Force in 1958. The aircraft saw action in the 1967 Six-Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. They were well liked by the Israeli pilots and were a match for the Arab MiG-19 aircraft in air-to-air combat.

In 1976, Israel sold 12 complete airframes to Honduras. In 1979, Honduras purchased 4 more complete airframes, totaling 16 aircraft. They were involved in numerous border skirmishes with Sandinista Nicaragua and were finally withdrawn from service in 1996, replaced by 12 Northrop F-5Es. The 11 surviving aircraft are for sale as surplus and 1 more is preserved at the Honduras Air Museum.

Operators[edit]

Former Super Mystère operators
Two Super Mystère B.2 aircraft of the Honduran Air Force (1988)
Super Mystère at the Israeli Air Force Museum in Hatzerim
Super Mystère at the German Air Force Museum in Gatow
 France
 Honduras
 Israel

Specifications (Super Mystère B.2)[edit]

General characteristics

Performance

Armament

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

  1. ^ El Salvador AF, esc. caza bomb. (unit history), UK: Aero flight .
  • Donald, David; Lake, Jon, eds. (1996). Encyclopedia of world military aircraft. AIRtime Publishing. ISBN 1-880588-24-2. 
  • Kopenhagen, W, ed. (1987). Das große Flugzeug-Typenbuch [The large airplane type book] (in German). Transpress. ISBN 3-344-00162-0.