P-16 Mk.II: Rise and Fall

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FFA P-16 Mk.II



P-16 Mk.Ii was the first version to be equipped with the Armstrong-Siddeley Sa-7 Sapphire engine with a larger fuel tank and thrust of 4990 kgf. This provided about ⅓ more thrust than the previous two prototypes. Factory tests revealed some problems, leading to the P-16 Mk.III in 1958 with 54 improvements added.



The P-16 Mk.II made its first flight on April 15, 1957. Test pilots heaped praise on the aircraft, mainly praising its low-speed performance. In particular, because of its excellent stability, the accuracy of its cannons and rockets was good, and pilots evaluated it as the best aircraft made up to that time.

In 1958, the machine crashed into Lake Constance due to material fatigue on the hydraulic system. Test pilot Lieutenant Jean Brunner survived, but the Swiss government’s order was cancelled. Not long after this, the project was completely canceled, and FFA fell into serious financial difficulties.

In fact, the military was largely responsible for the cancellation of the P-16. The military forced the prototype to fly while its defects had not yet been corrected, which led to the accident. Additionally, the simultaneous development of the N-20 and P-16 adversely affected each other. Because of these negative factors, the plan was met with a lot of criticism from political opponents, and the plan was eventually canceled.

In fact, the P-16 was a very advanced aircraft for its time. It had a superior ground attack capability than the Hunter introduced by the Swiss Army at the time, and compared to attack aircraft such as the AMX that came out later, it has several points where it is superior. If the Swiss military had canceled the N-20 project and focused only on the P-16, Switzerland might have become a military aircraft developer comparable to Sweden in modern times.

Technical Data



Wing Span: 11.14m
Length: 14.24m
Height: 4.26m
Wing Area: 30.0m²
Engine: Armstrong-Siddeley ASSa.7 (4,996kgf)
MTOW: 11,700kg
Wing Loading: 390kg/m²


Offensive Armament
ㅤ2 × 30mm Hispano-Suiza HS.825 (2 × 120)

Suspended Armament
ㅤ36 × 8cm SURA
ㅤ4 × 400kg Sprengbombe
ㅤ4 × 400kg Feuerbombe

ㅤ2 × 450L Drop Tank





Suggestion of P-16 Series


P-16.04 Nr.1: Ambitious Start
P-16.04 Nr.2: Step by Step
P-16 Mk.II: Rise and Fall
P-16 Mk.III ‘X-HB-VAC’: The Struggling
P-16 Mk.III ‘X-HB-VAD’: Final Work


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