The Perception of the P-16 in the United States: A Historical Analysis
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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The Swiss firm Flug und Fahrzeugwerke Altenrhein AG FFA developed a combat aircraft for the Swiss Air Force. The aircraft, known as the P-16, first flew in April 1955 and achieved supersonic flight for the first time in August 1956. The Swiss government was sufficiently impressed with the P-16 that an order for 100 airframes was placed in 1958. Unfortunately, the crash of two prototypes caused the order to be suspended. While the cause of the accident was a relatively minor defect in the aircrafts hydraulic system that was easily corrected, the Swiss government remained convinced that the design was faulty and cancelled the order. In reality, the Swiss government did not mention all the other reasons for the cancellation. The P-16 became a victim of a change in the Swiss concept of aerial warfare. Unfortunately, the cancellation of the P-16 led to the Swiss aircraft industrys inability to develop a jet airplane, but its design later led to the success of the business jet called the Learjet. This study analyzes changes in the Swiss concept of aerial warfare, the procurement politics of the Swiss Military Department, the U.S. Air Forces perceptions of and interest in the P-16, and the aircrafts modification into the popular Learjet 23.
- Attack and Fighter Aircraft
- Civilian Aircraft
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies