On this day, in 1973, the Alpha Jet made its first flight at Istres, with Jean-Marie Saget at the controls.
This training and tactical-support twin-jet tandem two-seater was designed for a program jointly run by France’s and Germany’s air forces.
It was the first aircraft produced conjointly by Dassault and Breguet. Planned to succeed the Fouga Magister and the Lockheed T 33, it was undertaken in cooperation with the German Dornier Corporation. Specifications were changed during the development.
On April 1971, the program was the following:
- a French training version, as simple as possible ;
- a German close air support and battlefield reconnaissance version, with the extra cost being borne by the German government.