Fighters which did not make the cut – the Dassault MD.550 Mirage

Early in 1952, Dassault received a contract from the French air ministry – which was becoming concerned about the increasing cost of modern fighters – to study the feasibility of a lightweight fighter in the form of a delta-winged variant of its Mystère fighter. The company accordingly began preliminary work on such a concept under the …

The Arsenal VG.33

The Arsenal de l’Aéronautique was created in 1936 as the French government nationalised and then rationalised the widely scattered and completely inefficient French aero industry. The new organisation created several advanced warplanes, primarily based on the designation suffix VG as an abbreviation indicating Ingenieur-Général Michel Vernisse and Jean Gaultier, who were the establishment’s head and …

Fighters which did not make the cut – the Breguet Br.100 Taon

A particular feature of the turbojet-engined warplanes which evolved in the late 1940s and early 1950s was their steadily increasing combination of power and performance. This was seen as useful as it improved such warplanes’ overall operational capabilities, but on the other side of the coin, there was the less attractive combined feature of greater …

Fighters that did not make the cut – the Sud-Est SE.5000 Baroudeur

France was occupied by German forces during a large part of World War II, and after the country’s liberation the first priority of the revived French air force was to rebuild its strength and overall capabilities with warplanes that were, for political as well as economic reasons, to be of French design and powered, wherever …

First-generation ‘modern’ monoplane fighters – The French Dewoitine D.500 series

A history of the French Dewoitine D.500 monoplane fighter series which was designed in the 1930s to be a replacement for the Nieuport-Delage Ni-D.62 series, including specifications.