Dassault Super Mystère
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|First flight||2 March 1955|
|Retired||1977 (French Air Force)|
|Primary users||French Air Force|
Israeli Air Force
Honduras Air Force
Design and development
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.
As the Super Mystère B.2, sometimes known as the SMB.2, the aircraft entered production in 1957. The production version differed from the prototype by having a more powerful SNECMA Atar 101G engine. A total of 180 Super Mystère B.2s were built.
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. In Israeli service these upgraded SMB.2s were also known as the IAI Sa'ar (after a Hebrew word meaning "storm").
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 They were involved in numerous border skirmishes with Sandinista Nicaragua and were finally withdrawn from service in 1996, replaced by 12 Northrop F-5Es.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.
Specifications (Super Mystère B.2)
- Crew: 1
- Length: 14.13 m (46 ft 4 in)
- Wingspan: 10.51 m (34 ft 6 in)
- Height: 4.6 m (15 ft 1 in)
- Wing area: 32.0 m² (344 ft²)
- Empty weight: 6,390 kg (14,090 lb)
- Loaded weight: 9,000 kg (20,000 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 10,000 kg (22,000 lb)
- Fuel capacity: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × SNECMA Atar 101G-2 turbojet
- Maximum speed: Mach 1.12 (1,195 km/h, 743 mph) at 11,000 m (36,000 ft)
- Combat range: 870 km (470 NM, 540 mi)
- Ferry range: 1,175 km (634 NM, 730 mi)
- Service ceiling: 17,000 m (56,000 ft)
- Rate of climb: 89 m/s (18,000 ft/min)
- Wing loading: 281 kg/m² (57.6 lb/ft²)
- Thrust/weight: 0.50
- Guns: 2× 30 mm (1.18 in) DEFA 552 cannons with 150 rounds per gun
- Rockets: 2× Matra rocket pods with 18× SNEB 68 mm rockets each
- Missiles: 2× Rafael Shafrir AAMs; 2× AS-30L
- Bombs: 2,680 kg (5,000 lb) of payload on four external hardpoints, including a variety of bombs, reconnaissance pods or Drop tanks
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
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