SCRUNT Chaser 71
The first military jet designed by a Ch'ti (a hyper-nationalist minority group within Galla, akin to Quebecois but way smaller and way less lazy) firm (SNAC [National Consolidated Aircraft Company] designed the first Ch'ti motorjet mail carrier in 1942, but it was never built) and the first swept-wing tactical jet put into production by the Gallan military, the SCRUNT (Societe de Construction et de Recercer et d'Unvelope de Nouvelles Techniques
; New Technologies Research, Development, and Construction Company) Chaser 71 was the ultimate design of the Chaser (Fighter) series of aircraft produced by SCRUNT. It was initially conceived of as a pusher prop fighter-bomber, competing with the Hjuletsson Model 21, for the Royal Army Air Corps' requirement for a mid-1940s, all-metal fighter-bomber. The wooden monowing Hjuletsson Model 37 [Hurricane], by 1939, was beginning to show its age as the Frisian Air Service's Foke 108 and the Yenisei Model 4 of the Hsingnu, both all-metal monowings, had entered production by that time. The Sverker Model 18/Snipe (P-39) was ordered as a stopgap measure, which although powered by the Alison [not a typo] V-17/12 liquid engine, the supercharger was removed to hasten production of the new fighter, with the expectation that a new fighter would appear by 1942 to be powered by the supercharged engine.
In 1940 the requirement for a high speed fighter was put out to industry, and Hjuletsson and SCRUNT responded with two unconventional pusher-prop designs, while the Sverker Model 21 (P-63) was proposed as a supercharged version of the Model 18. The Sverker 21 was designed as an otherwise conventional mono-wing and could not meet the speed requirements, while the SCRUMT aircraft showed more promise, with its unique swept wing configuration. Unfortunately, prop strike proved to be an issue, and the aircraft went back to the drawing board for the time being. The contract was awarded to Sverker, now rebranding itself as Saab, for an indeterminate number of Model 21s/Saab Sparrows, with ultimately about 12,000 being produced of all types.
During this time, all major Alarian powers had been working on jet aviation, and the Gallan Electric firm had developed a primitive turbojet engine, which was first fired in 1943. Turbo Technologies, a tiny company of about a dozen engineers, had been acquired in 1941 by Gallan Electric after their successful demonstration of a small turbojet motor in 1940, and this engine was developed into the Y43 turbojet, the first viable jet engine, and was trialed in a converted Snipe, disguised as a motorjet. While the Y43 proved underperforming except for the smallest installations of aircraft (a mere two dozen prototypes of various mixed jet-prop conversions were built) the enlarged Y44 was found to be suitable for a single engine fighter. By 1944, the SCRUNT firm was finding difficulty in acquiring buyers for its Chaser E-series propeller aircraft. Most air forces of the era were happy enough to accept hand-me-down Foke 108s and Ye-4s by this time, to replace their mostly obsolete biplane fleets, as the large nations shed their earlier monoplanes in favor of increasingly faster and better aircraft.
In May 1946 a requirement for a tactical jet fighter materialized, as the RAAC realized that it would soon be outgunned with the appearance of the Ye-15 turbojet in April 1946, and the highly advanced Fokke Ljepper
a year earlier, and quickly reviewed its options: a clean sheet aircraft would take too long, and a conversion of existing aircraft would likely require a full take-down and rebuild of existing aircraft, costing more money, so the ideal option would be a conversion of an aircraft which existed as otherwise ready for production and tooling. The Hjuletsson Aviation Company responded that they could have a re-engined version of their mono-wing Model 21 ready to go in approximately 8 months. SCRUNT, which had spent its time more judiciously, replied that they only needed money to procure tooling, and had completed all necessary groundwork for a conversion 6 months earlier, mostly in anticipation that the Ljepper's appearance would spurn a request for a new jet aircraft.
The RAAC replied that it would order either 3,000 of one aircraft, or 1,500 of either, and that both firms had 6 months to produce flying aircraft. Surprisingly, the Hjuletsson Aviation Company was first to show, with the Model 21Y flying by October of 1946. The aircraft was, compared to its contemporaries, somewhat underperforming in the fighter role, and the RAAC quickly consigned it to the ground attack mission, where its 20mm nose cannons and 40mm gun pods proved useful. The SCRUNT Chaser 71, as it was now called, flew in September and proved better in this regard, capable of keeping up with most aircraft of the era and surpassing them in straight flight and climb substantially. Its armament of a quartet of .50 caliber machine guns, however, was considered somewhat lacking for the time period, although adequate as a fighter weapon. The high amount of ammunition per gun (400 rounds) was welcomed. A pair of 180 gal wingtip tanks was added to compensate for the low combat radius of the Chaser and production go-ahead was given in December 1946 for both types. The first production Chaser 71 was delivered in February 1947.
Provisions for carriage of 2000 lbs bombs and 5" HVAR rockets were made on the outboard wings (the inboards stored fuel, the landing gear, and the intakes, thus limiting their capacity if for landing gear interference alone), with four pylons being available to carry up to 8x 5" rockets or 4000 lbs of bombs. These pylons were also expected to be used to carry self-guiding air-to-air missiles, a then-emerging technology which had, in 1945, been tested against radio controlled target aircraft using infrared and radar beamriding guidance. Additionally, 7-shot 70mm rocket pods were available, although these were rarely used by the RAAC, they were extensively fitted to the A 21Y, and later the rocket pods became a favorite of Kampalan jet drivers in the 1970s.
Later (September 1947), a radar gunsight was added in a void in the nose, increasing the combat effectiveness of the fighter. During the Far East Emergency in 1951, RAAC Chasers were able to achieve an astounding 12:1 kill:loss ratio against opposing Celestial Ljepper fighters thanks to this addition, and although the superior Fokke Koarthakke [devil/demon/imp] the Chasers still managed to defeat them at a ratio of nearly 5:1, although this was surpassed by the Royal Navy's introduction of the J9F and the Red Comet (AIM-9B) missile. Initial missile capability was provided by the Army developed Blue Boa (AIM-4A) and Blue Asp (AIM-4B) rockets, which proved substantially disappointing. Provision for the use of Red Comet was later incorporated into the Chaser, as was the radar guided Red Meteor (AIM-9C), to replace the Army missiles. The attacker A 21Y was produced from 1947-1949, and replaced by the A24 (Saab 32 Lansen) in 1955. The SCRUNT J 24 was produced from 1947-1950 and replaced by the swept-wing Sverker 29 (Tunnan) in 1954.
Two radar altimeter antennae, and an IFF and TACAN antenna, are visible on the underside, while two HF radio antennae are provided on top so that the pilot can maintain contact with his flight leader and a ground controller or wingman at the same time. On most aircraft in Kampalan service, the twin HF set was replaced with a VHF radio, but Lt. Okeke's aircraft had not yet received this modification.
Ordinary cruise speed and altitude generally hovered around 400-450 mph and 15-18,000 feet, with a combat load of 80% fuel, mostly in the wingtips, giving it excellent roll performance at this altitude regime. Full military power provided a level flight maximum with a combat load of about 480 mph, and in a dive, this could approach 550 mph comfortably. War emergency power increased level flight speed to well over 500 mph, generally putting the aircraft well above its contemporaries, although this was quickly smashed by the appearance of the Shi-15 swept wing fighter, and had already been somewhat dampened by the beginning of production of the Fokke Pylk
fighter in November 1946.
Vd clean was tested at approximately 580 mph, as at around 600-620 mph the pilot would experience severe oscillation and difficulty in keeping the nose steady, as the aircraft enjoyed pitching in the transsonic regime. In a terminal dive (>80 degrees) the aircraft could approach the sound barrier, with maximum speed recorded at 687 mph, although recovery from the dive at this speed was impossible. The test aircraft used to discern this was remote controlled into the ground in May 1947, during Royal Army test trials, and maximum recoverable speed was determined to be around 640 mph before oscillation tended to pitch the aircraft into an unrecoverable angle, control lockup, or whatever. Due to the high speed of the aircraft, manual escape was mostly impossible, especially at lower altitudes, and so the Royal Army developed a gunpowder-based ejection seat which propelled the pilot upwards using modified shotgun cartridges. This was successfully integrated into the A 21Y and early J 24s, although it would later be replaced by a rocket based system in 1949. The first use of the ejection seat occurred in October 1947 when Lt. Bengt Andersson ejected over the sea after encountering a flock of startled shore birds. He was rescued by a local fisherman a few minutes later who saw the plane crash and followed the parachute. The first rocket ejection seat was installed in November 1949, and thereafter retrofitted to every production aircraft by the end of 1950.
Maximum operating altitude was limited by pilot equipment, specifically the oxygen mask, although there was space available for an oxygen bottle and pressurization system, it was generally inadequate to provide oxygen above about 36,000 feet. Additionally, it was ill advised to fly above even 32,000 feet, as pilots found out, meaning that the Chaser 71 was incapable of intercepting high altitude fighters that it began to face in the Far East Emergency. Unfortunately, due to the limited space inside the plane, this could not be substantially rectified without significant conversion work, and the rapid pace of aeronautics at the time meant that the aircraft would be obsolete by the time it was complete. Despite this, the Chaser's big wing and powerful engine meant that, when such aircraft came down to fight it, it could out turn and outgun them easily. In this sense, it resembled the performance of the Sverker Snipe against the Celestial Empire's "Zephyr" fighters during the Circum-Celestial War of the early-mid 1940s.
450 surplus, modified J24s and A21Ys were sold to the Royal Kampalan Air Force in 1958, where they fought through 1976 in the Kampalan Crisis. The J24 became famous when a pair of fighters from the RKAF's E10 Wing, on a "Fokkevakt" mission, responded to calls for assistance from the World Bank President's Hjuletsson Trident
airliner, which was attacked by a mercenary Fokke Sefyr
, in 1972. The airliner narrowly escaped destruction, losing two of its main engines in the process. Two bodyguards were killed in the attack from strafing machine gun fire, and the World Bank President, Daniel Hjalmarsson, escaped with a broken arm due to the erratic evasive maneuver, before the attacker was shot down. The airliner ditched in Orimiri Lake, and a World Bank rescue helicopter recovered the survivors a short while afterward. The helicopter landed at Uwu Aerodrome, a divert destination about 30 miles away from the Ukeseme Airport, where a ground convoy of tanks and armored cars were waiting to pickup the President, after World Bank military forces made the assumption that an airborne flight to the Kampalan capital would be too dangerous. This was proven prudent several hours later, when a World Bank HN6S helicopter was shot down by a MANPADS on the outskirts of Ukeseme, with a total loss of all crew, apparently under the mistaken assumption that the President was aboard. A preserved J24 in Kampalan livery stands as gate guardian in front of the main entrance to the World Bank Aerodrome, a mile from the World Bank Building, alongside a World Bank Voigt J6V
The Chaser 71 would be the last SCRUNT fighter to see Gallan service, although SCRUNT has kept itself busy since the 1940s by providing Kampalan Air Force and Navy troops, along with other, undisclosed clients, with training, spare parts, simulators, and low-key, boutique modifications of their aviation inventory. Although well known in civil industry for making one of the first commercial all-composite/fiberglass medical evacuation helicopters, SCRUNT has long since exited the military aviation production business, transitioning to a support role in the industry and as a component sub-contractor to larger aircraft houses like Sverker Aeroplan, Malmo, and Voigt.
A Chaser 71 as it appeared in 1972 during the rescue of Dan Hjalmarsson. Two Red Comet missiles are carried inboard and two Red Meteor missiles are outboard, with a radar guided gunsight in the nose to operate the missiles and machine guns, and integral wingtip tanks with the position lights in the nose. The attacking aircraft was shot down by a radar guided missile from #17, No. 1 Squadron, flown by Flying Lieutenant Ndidi Okeke of the RKAF, after the mercenary pilot had evaded a heat seeking missile. The attacking pilot ejected over the sea, but was never found despite a several days search involving float planes, World Bank warships, and helicopters.
37 ft 2 in (11.32 m)
280 sq ft (26 m^2)
9,332 lb (4,242 kg)
15,754 lb (7,161 kg)
Max. takeoff weight:
18,488 lb (9,323 kg)
1x Alison/Gallan Electric Y44 turbojet
5,000 lbf (22.24 kN)
Thrust with afterburner:
6,250 lbf (27.8 kN)
580 mph @ 32,000 feet (933 kph @ 9,755 m)
1,200 mi (1,040 nmi, 1,920 km)
760 gallons (2,877 liters)
40,000 ft (12,195 m)
4x .50" Type 21 machine guns (400 rounds per gun)
4x with a capacity of 1000 lbs outboard and 2000 lbs inboard, and provisions to carry combinations of:
2x 2000 lbs, 4x 1000 lbs, 4x 500 lbs, 4x 250 lbs
8x 5" HVAR, 76x 3" FFAR, 2x "Store Sven" rockets
4x Red Comet/Red Meteor/Blue Asp/Blue Boa