This was more than two decades ago! Here is a book that explains how Dassault Aviation adapted the Rafale to make it just as efficient, even with a little sea spray in the jet engines.
Designed from the outset as a multi-purpose aircraft, the Rafale had to go through a battery of tests to be adapted to life on board an aircraft carrier. It is this period that is the focus of François Besse, author of the book “From the Vampire to the Mirage 4000, under the sign of the chimera – Jean-Marie Saget’s 20,000 flight hours”, and Jacques Desmazures, former director of flight tests at Dassault, who were at the forefront of this “transformation”.
From the initial tests of the Rafale to the entry into service of its Marine version, the duo of authors describe at length the tests carried out on board the “Charles de Gaulle”, but also in the United States where several campaigns were conducted, including on the Lakehurst and Patuxent River military bases.
To explain the whole process and present the main protagonists, François Besse and Jacques Desmazures analyze the data collected during the tests and draw a portrait of the engineers, technical managers, pilots, or landing safety officers involved. And relate many anecdotes that punctuated the major milestones of this journey.
The book also spells out the technical changes that had to be made to the Rafale to give it sea legs, such as a catapult bar instead of the sling or a jump strut nose landing gear designed to facilitate take off from the deck. Not to mention the changes made to the controls.
Illustrated with many period documents and photos for the most part never before published, here is a book of more than 330 pages, specialized but yet largely accessible, which will regale all enthusiasts of the Rafale and of military aviation in general – on land, at sea and … in the air.
Book. “Rafale Marine: flight tests to navalize a fighter jet”, Authors: François Besse and Jacques Desmazures. Self-published. ISBN: 9782955578254