Sud-Ouest SO 9050 Trident II
|INTERCEPTOR||Virtual Aircraft Museum / France / Sud-Ouest|
Embodying experience gained with the SO 9000, the SO 9050 - two prototypes of which were ordered in 1954 - embodied considerable redesign. A smaller wing of reduced thickness/chord ratio was adopted, the cockpit was enlarged, air brakes were transferred from the wing to the rear fuselage, a taller undercarriage was provided and a two-barrel SEPR 631 rocket motor of 3000kg was adopted. The first prototype SO 9050 was flown on 19 July 1955, its first flight on rocket power taking place on the following 21 December, and the second prototype flew on 4 January 1956, but was destroyed during its second flight. A third prototype had meanwhile been ordered, this flying on 30 March 1956, and some 10 weeks later, on 11 June, a contract was placed for six pre-series aircraft, a supplementary contract for a further four following (although the latter was to be cancelled on 24 October 1957 as an economy measure). The pre-series SO 9050 differed from the prototypes primarily in having 1100kg Turbomeca Gabizo turbojets in place of the Vipers at the wingtips and provision for nose-mounted AI radar and a single ventrally-mounted Matra R 511 air-air missile. The first pre-series aircraft was flown on 3 May 1957 and the third on 30 January 1958, but three months later, on 26 April, the programme was cancelled. During tests, Mach=1.9 was achieved at 19500m and an altitude of 26000m exceeded.