Sud-Est SE 530 Mistral
|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / France / Sud-Est|
After assembling 67 Vampire FB Mk 5 single-seat fighters from British-supplied components and licence-building a further 120 aircraft in their entirety, the Societe Nationale de Constructions Aeronautiques de Sud-Est (SNCASE) began production of a more powerful version of the basic aircraft. Assigned the designation Vampire Mk 53 by the parent company and given the appellation of SE 530 by Sud-Est, this was developed at the behest of the Armee de l'Air. It utilised the basic Mk 5 airframe mated with the 2270kg Hispano-built Nene 102, the wing root intakes being enlarged and the split-trunk intake of the Hawker P.1040 being adapted to provide the extra air demanded for the rear face of the Nene's double-sided impeller. Fuel tankage was increased, cabin pressurisation introduced and the pilot was provided with an SNCASO ejection seat. A pre-series of four aircraft was built, the first of these flying on 1 April 1951. Baptised Mistral, the type entered series production in SE 532 form, the first flying in December 1951 and 97 being built. These were followed by 150 examples of the SE 535, the last of which was delivered on 25 March 1954. The SE 535 was powered by the Nene 104 with similar rating to the Nene 102B of the SE 532, and, in addition to its four 20mm HS 404 cannon, could carry eight T-10 or HVAR rockets, or two 450kg bombs. The Mistral entered Armee dl'Air service in 1952 and was finally withdrawn in 1961.