FFA P-16

The FFA P-16 was a Swiss prototype ground attack jet fighter designed in the 1950s to replace the piston-engined types then in service with the Swiss Air Force. It was Switzerland's second attempt to develop a domestically-designed and manufactured jet fighter after the EFW N-20, but the project was terminated in favor of the British-build Hawker Hunter before it could be introduced into service.

FFA P-16
Class Aircraft
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Flug- und Fahrzeugwerke Altenrhein
Origin Switzerland
Country Name Origin Year
Switzerland 1955
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Switzerland View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Flug- und Fahrzeugwerke Altenrhein 5 View

Certain design concepts of the P-16 were used by Bill Lear when developing the first of the highly successful Learjet family of business jets.

The P-16 was designed to be especially well-suited to the close-support role, and short-field performance was also emphasized. The resulting aircraft was a single-seat, single-engine design with intakes on the fuselage sides and a low wing. The horizontal stabilizer was mounted halfway up the fin. To ensure good performance from unprepared fields, heavy undercarriage and dual wheels and tires were fitted. The straight, low aspect ratio wing was of multi-spar construction with various high-lift devices including full-span Krueger flaps on the leading edge, large Fowler-type flaps on the inboard trailing edge, and ailerons which also operated as flaps. These devices allowed the aircraft to take off and land within 1,000 ft (330 m) at high altitude, allowing it to operate from the Alpine valleys characteristic of Switzerland.


  • Mk I: two prototypes powered with an Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire ASSa 6 engine of 7,900 lb (3983 kg) thrust.
  • Mk II: pre-production machine with a Sapphire ASSa 7 engine of 11,0000 lb (4,990 kg) thrust. Only one aircraft was completed out of an order for four before the project was cancelled.
  • Mk III: two of the unfinished Mk II aircraft were completed to MK III standard by FFA in an attempt to revive the project. These included armament of two Hispano-Suiza 825 30mm cannon and a Matra 1000 launcher for up to 44 68mm unguided rockets.

Role Fighter
Manufacturer FFA
Designer Dr. Hans Studer
First flight 25 April 1955
Retired Cancelled
Number built 5

General characteristics

  • Crew: one pilot
  • Length: 14.33 m (47 ft)
  • Wingspan: 11.15 m (36 ft 7 in)
  • Height: 4.27 m (14 ft 0 in)
  • Wing area: 30.0 m² (323 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 7,037 kg (15,500 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 11,713 kg (25,800 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Armstrong Siddeley ASSa.7 Sapphire turbojet, 49.1 kN (11,000 lbf)


  • Maximum speed: 1,118 km/h (604 knots, 694 mph) at sea level, clean
  • Stall speed: 179 km/h (97 knots, 111 mph)
  • Range: 1,447 km (781 nmi, 899 mi) at 9,150 m (30,000 ft)
  • Service ceiling: 14,000 m (46,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 65.0 m/s (12,795 ft/min)


  • Guns: 2 × 30 mm Hispano-Suiza HS.825 cannon in nose with 120 rounds per gun
  • Hardpoints: 4 with a capacity of up to 2,590 kg (5,700 lb) of external stores[4]
  • Rockets: 44 × 68 mm SNEB rocket in retractable Matra launcher under fuselage

End notes