YouTube – Alpha Jet
2 x 3,175 lbs. ea.
1 x 27 mm
43 ft. 5 in.
29 ft. 11 in.
The concept of the Alpha Jet originated in the early 1960’s as an updated training and light attack aircraft. By mid 1969 the French company Dassault, and the German company Dornier joined together to produce the aircraft.
By 1973 the Alpha Jet had been approved for production. Features of the aircraft included a Head Up Dispaly,inertial navigation system , a laser gun sight, and the latest avionics.
Throughout the years, the Alpha Jet was improved with advanced weapons systems, sensor suites, upgraded radars, and more powerful engines.
Air forces around the world, including Belgium, Cameroon, Egypt, France, Germany, Morocco, Niger, Portugal and Thailand all have flown the Alpha Jet. The French Air Force aerobatic team, Patrouille de France, continue to fly Alpha Jet aircraft.
The Nigerian Air Force deployed Alpha Jet aircraft to Liberian where they were used in support of ECOMOG against the NPFL. They flew over 3,000 combat sorties included attacks on enemy headquarters, artillery, and enemy vessels with no aircraft lost.
Nigerian Alpha Jets have seen continued action against Boko Haram including combat air patrols and bombing missions. Nigeria has reported that Alpha Jet attacks cleared out Boko Haram troops from the Sambisa Forest in Borno.
Morocco Alpha Jets have been used during the Westerb Sahara War in counter insurgency missions against the Polisario Front.
Alpha jets continue to be used by a number of air forces as adversary aircraft in air combat training exercises.
Flying the Alpha Jet is reminiscent of stepping into the cockpit of a Vietnam era attack jet. It can reach high sub-sonic speeds, accelerating quickly. That type of performance requires staying ahead of the jet at all times.
The Alpha Jet is flown with a close eye on the AOA indicator, especially when doing extreme maneuvering at lower speeds and altitudes. At those times, the swept back wing and wing loading of the Alpha Jet require quite a bit of nose high attitude, watching your air speed to avoid a stall condition. Its best handling is at speeds in excess of about 290 mph. Accelerating out of slow flight using power takes time. It is not until higher speeds are reached that power and acceleration increase.
A total of some 480 Alpha Jet aircraft were built before production ended in 1991.
That’s Sean Burchfield with the transmitter and a friend with the Alpha Jet from Jet Legends. The ARF has a wingspan of 72 in., a length of 92 in., and an all up weight of 33 lbs. Power can come from 22 to 35 lbf. jet turbines. Included with the aircraft are speed brakes and retracts.