SEPECAT Jaguar - Development - Prototypes

Prototypes

The first of eight prototypes flew on 8 September 1968, a two-seat design fitted with the first production model Adour engine. This aircraft later went supersonic on its third flight but was lost on landing on 26 March 1970 following an engine fire. The second prototype flew in February 1969; a total of three prototypes appeared in flight at the Paris Air Show that year. The first French "A" prototype flew in March 1969. In October a British "S" conducted its first flight.

A "M" prototype flew in November 1969. The "M" had a strengthened airframe, an arrestor hook and different undercarriage: twin nosewheel and single mainwheels. After testing in France it went to RAE at Thurleigh for carrier landing trials from their land based catapult. In July 1970 it made real take offs and landings from the French carrier Clemenceau. From these trials there were doubts about the throttle response in case of an aborted landing; the shipboard testing has also revealed problems with the aircraft's handling when flying on one engine, although planned engine improvements were to have rectified these problems. The "M" was considered a suitable replacement for the Etendard IV but the Aeronavale would only be able to purchase 60 instead of 100 aircraft.

Furthermore, the Jaguar M was expensive, limiting the size of the force the French Navy could afford. In 1971, Dassault proposed the Super Étendard, claiming that it was a simpler and cheap development of the existing Étendard IV, and in 1973, the French Navy agreed to order it instead of the Jaguar, although rising costs of the Super Étendard meant that only 71 of the planned 100 aircraft were purchased. The M was cancelled by the French government in 1973.

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Famous quotes containing the word prototypes:

    As our domestic fowls are said to have their original in the wild pheasant of India, so our domestic thoughts have their prototypes in the thoughts of her philosophers.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)