BackgroundAlthough the French, as citizens of an occupied country, were not able to contribute significantly to the great strides made in aircraft design made during World War II, after the war Marcel Dassault saw no reason why the French could not jump back into the race. In 1947, he outlined ideas for a jet fighter. French government response for his fighter was positive but did not result in a development contract, and so Dassault decided to proceed on his own.
Detailed design work on the new aircraft, which was given the designation "MD (Marcel Dassault) 450", began in December 1947, with construction beginning in April 1948. A French government contract for three prototypes followed in June, and the initial MD 450 "Ouragan (Hurricane)" fighter flew at the end of February 1949.
The Ouragan was inspired by American designs, and had a general configuration like that of the Republic F-84 Thunderjet: essentially a "stovepipe" with intake in the nose, low-mounted straight wing, bubble canopy, and tricycle landing gear; all the landing gear assemblies had single wheels, with the nosewheel retracting forward and the main gear hinging in the wings to retract towards the fuselage. The Ouragan was smaller than the Thunderjet, however, weighing about a tonne less, and used a thin wing much like that of the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star, as well as a swept-back tailplane. The prototype Ouragan was powered by a Rolls-Royce Nene 102 centrifugal-flow turbojet, license-built by Hispano-Suiza, with about 22.27 kN (2,270 kgp / 5,000 lbf) thrust.
In late August 1950, well before delivery of pre-production machines, the French government had placed an order with Dassault for 150 full production Ouragans. The government had been talking about a buy of 850 machines and the actual order was a bit disappointing for Dassault, but it was still a large order and nothing to complain about. In fact, the government would order 200 more Ouragans, and the firm would be strained to build them fast enough.
The first operational Ouragans were delivered in 1952, replacing the De Havilland Vampire in French service. The Ouragan did not have a long first-line service life with the AdA, being phased out in favor of the much-improved Dassault Mystere IVA (more below) beginning in the spring of 1955. Ouragans would persist in French service into the early 1960s as advanced trainers.
They would fly much longer in foreign service. In 1953, India ordered 71 Ouragans with the slightly uprated Nene 105 engine, with most of the order delivered that year. Additional orders from India brought the total to 104, though only the first 71 were new-build aircraft, with the remainder passed on from AdA service. The Indians named the aircraft the "Toofani", the Hindi word for "Hurricane". As with the AdA, the Ouragan was quickly phased out of first-line service by the Dassault Mystere IVA, beginning in 1958, but the older aircraft would continue to be used as advanced trainers. The Indian Air Force apparently used the Ouragan in domestic counter-insurgency operations, but records are sketchy.
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) was an enthusiastic Ouragan user. In 1955, the Egyptian government signed an agreement with Czechoslovakia to buy advanced Russian arms, such as the MiG-15 fighter. The only jet fighter the IAF possessed was the Gloster Meteor, which was no match for the MiG-15, and the Israelis quickly moved to upgrade their force. The IAF bought an estimated 75 Ouragans, with at least 12 of these being new-build aircraft, and the rest passed on from AdA service. First deliveries were in 1955, just in time for Operation MUSKETEER -- the 1956 Anglo-French-Israeli invasion of Egypt to seize the Suez Canal. The Israeli Ouragans were assigned to close support operations, since they could not match the performance of Egyptian MiG-15s. The Ouragan proved excellent in this role, being reliable and tough. Despite the fact that it wasn't assigned air combat missions, Egyptian pilots were poorly trained and Israeli pilots, flying Ouragans sometimes sporting lurid sharkmouth markings, took on Egyptian pilots with success. A senior IAF official later said: "The Ouragan was a much better aeroplane than had been thought."
Ouragans were relegated to advanced training as better aircraft became predominant in Israeli service, but the type saw more combat in the 1967 Six-Day War. In 1975, the Israelis sold 18 of their Ouragans to El Salvador, where they remained in service until the late 1980s, sporting jungle disruptive camouflage colors.
Source: Greg Goebel
- The Dassault Ouragan, Mystere, & Super Mystere.
Valom's Ouragan arrives packed in a sturdy conventional box with the main sprues and accessories bagged separately for protection. The kit comprises:
71 x grey styrene parts (2 unused)
2 x clear styrene parts
1 x resin part
18 x etched brass parts plus a printed film
Decals for 2 x colour schemes
Considering that this is a limited run kit, the overall standard of moulding is really very good indeed. There's hardly a trace of flash, and the only shallow sink marks I could find are actually on the two unused parts. What really stands out is the ambitious surface detailing, which comprises engraved panel lines and beautifully subtle embossed riveting. The only giveaway of the short-run moulding on my kit is that a couple of the panel lines have filled in slightly, but a quick run along them with a scriber will soon sort that out.
A dry fit of the main parts is pretty encouraging. There are no locating tabs or pins, and I think you'll definitely want to add some strip styrene tabs along the fuselage joint, as the halves are quite flexible. However, with everything lined up, the fit is quite acceptable. The trickiest area looks set to be the lower nose, which is moulded separately to incorporate the nosewheel well. You'll need to adjust the fit to disguise the joint, especially if you go for a n/m finish, all the time trying to preserve the rivet detail as much as possible.
The wings in a short run kit can often be a bit of a pain, but Valom have done a fine job here – they feature nice thin trailing edges straight from the box and a remarkably good fit at the roots. The stabilizers are a butt-joint to the fin and fit neatly. You won't need to add any support in this scale, but purists may choose to fit brass pins to be on the safe side.
A few details
The cockpit is quite simple but effective. The highlights are an excellent etched control panel with a backing film, and a beautifully cast resin ejector seat with an etched harness. The floor and sidewalls are detailed neatly – a tad soft, but quite adequate when seen through the closed canopy. The cockpit is rounded off by a control column, etched rudder pedals and a clear gunsight.
The full-span wing slots in positively, and a nice touch is the mainwheel bay insert. This interlocks with the wings and fuselage to create a convincingly deep well that just needs a touch of filler to blend in front and back.
The man undercarriage is quite well detailed with separate oleo scissors and good detail on the hubs. The wheel doors feature interior and exterior detailing. The nosewheel leg is made up of two parts which is probably down to moulding limitations. The hub detail on the nosewheel itself has filled in somewhat in the sample kit, but Valom have spotted this and prepared a much better resin replacement for future kits. No need for noseweight is noted in the instructions, but it may well be necessary to avoid the finished model being a tail sitter.
There's an impressive array of stores, with wingtip fuel tanks and a fearsome array of underwing rockets and bombs. A useful armament diagram is included in the instructions, and you'll need to refer to this to judge the positions of the pylons, as there are no locating holes.
A well moulded styrene canopy is included, which is nicely clear and distortion free, with crisply defined frames.
Instructions and decals
The assembly guide is printed as a 4-page A-5 booklet. The drawings are clear and simple and break construction down into 10 stages. Paint matches are provided for Humbrol, Agama, Model Master, Gunze Sangyo and Federal Standards, so you should have no trouble finding suitable colours wherever you live.
A full colour painting guide is included for two painting schemes:
1. MD 450 Ouragan, "2-EM", No. L'EC 1?2 "Cigognes", French Air Force.
2. MD-450 Ouragan, "White 66", 113 Squadron, Israeli Air Force.
The decals look nice quality, thin and glossy, with good register and crystal clear carrier film.
This looks a fine kit of a very important post war aircraft. The short run nature means it's not a suitable kit for beginners, but experienced modellers should find it a very rewarding challenge. Recommended.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE