Manufacturer: Sud-Est Aviation (SNCASE)

Model: SE-8200

Name: Hirondelle II

Type: Jet fighter-attack


Status: Experimental

Country: France

Service: Armée de l'air

Designation: SE-8200


In 1946, the French Société nationale de constructions aéronautiques du Sud-Est (better known as "Sud-Est Aviation" or SNCASE) proceeded to extensive testing of two Messerschmitt Me 262 retrieved in Germany the previous year.Redesignated as the SE-8000 Hirondelle (French for "swallow") they provided a lot of information to be used in forthcoming French jet programs.

In 1955, Sud-Est and SFERMA reconditioned one of the two aircraft as the SE-8200 Hirondelle II in order to test a prototype turbine engine which, if successful, could be used subsequently on light twin-engined business aircraft.

With its modified tail and forward protruding turbine engines, the Hirondelle II was not the handsomest of aircraft, but it served its purpose and paved the way for the Turbo Travelair, the Marquis and subsequent turbo-prop-powered French aircraft.


The Hirondelle (second image on the right) was a rather simple modification to make, but the Hirondelle II (top right) had to be intensively reworked (apparently from a Messerschmitt Me 262 B1 picture which I haven't been able to locate).

The nose was stretched and fitted with cannons, the wing extended and fitted with a SFERMA engine, the tail fin lengthened/reshaped and a slanted stabilizers added beneath the elevators (don't ask me why, I thought it looked cool!). Markings of course were added on top of all that.

The logo and visual elements are from genuine SNCASE advertisements of that era.

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My comments:

NOTE: when I imagined the SE.8000 Hirondelle (simply a French evaluation of the Me 262) I had no idea that such an evaluation had actually taken place in post-war France by pilots of the C.E.V. (Centre d'Essais en Vol) at Brétigny!