|SE-212 Durandal No.02 at the Paris Air Show in May 1957 with AA20 rocket beneath the aircraft|
|First flight||20 April 1956|
The SNCASE SE.212 Durandal was a French jet and rocket mixed-power fighter aircraft of the mid-1950s. Designed in parallel with the lightweight fighter-bomber projects destined for the 1953 NATO Fighter Competition that resulted in the winner, the Fiat G.91 and a number of "also-rans." The SE.212 arose out of the same thinking but devolved into a dedicated point-defence interceptor. Despite promising results in tests, the project was cancelled.
Design and development
The SNCASE design team under Pierre Satre, worked on studies for a lightweight mixed-power interceptor fighter from late 1951. The designs produced a small 60° delta aircraft powered by a SNECMA Atar 101F jet engine equipped with afterburning. The aircraft's speed at height was to be boosted by a SEPR 75 rocket motor. Armament was to be a single "one-shot" AA.20 missile carried underneath the Durandal's centreline. Alternative armament was to be two 30 mm cannon or 24 SNEB rockets.
Two prototype aircraft were built, the first flying on 20 April 1956 at Istres, without the rocket motor being fitted. The second Durandal was flown on 30 March 1957. During flight testing, a speed of 1,444 kilometres per hour (897 mph) was attained at 12,300 metres (40,400 ft) without the rocket motor, and 1667 km/h at 11,800 m with the rocket lit. These tests were achieved without armament being fitted. The second Durandal, aircraft No.02, was statically displayed at the Paris Air Show at Paris Le Bourget Airport in May 1957 with the AA.20 missile underneath the aircraft.
The SE.212 test programme was terminated in 1958 and no further production was undertaken. Sections of the first aircraft were held in store during 2006 by the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace at Le Bourget.
Data from The Complete Book of Fighters
- Crew: 1
- Length: 12.07 m (39 ft 7 in)
- Wingspan: 7.44 m (24 ft 5 in)
- Wing area: 29.60 m2 (318.6 sq ft)
- Empty weight: 4,575 kg (10,086 lb)
- Gross weight: 6,700 kg (14,771 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × SNECMA Atar 101F turbojet dry, 43 kN (9,700 lbf) with afterburner
- Powerplant: 1 × SEPR 75 rocket engine, 7.35 kN (1,653 lbf) thrust
- Maximum speed: 1,667 km/h (1,036 mph; 900 kn) with rocket at 11,800 m (36,300 ft)
- Maximum speed: Mach 1.57
- Rate of climb: 200 m/s (39,000 ft/min)
- "Sud-Est SE-212 Durandal." Air Pictorial and Air Reserve Gazette, Volume XIX, No. 1, January 1957, p. 9.
- Ogden 2006, p. 186.
- Green and Swanborough 1994, p. 547.
- Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Every Fighter Aircraft Built and Flown. New York: Smithmark Publishing, 1994. ISBN 978-0-8317-3939-3.
- Ogden, Bob. Aviation Museums and Collections of Mainland Europe. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd, 2006. ISBN 0-85130-375-7.
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