Nord Aviation

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Nord-Aviation
IndustryAviation
FateAcquired & merged
PredecessorSFECMAS (Société française d'étude et de construction de matériels aéronautiques spéciaux)
SNCAN (Société nationale de constructions aéronautiques du Nord)
SuccessorSud Aviation
Founded1 October 1954
Defunct1 March 1970
Headquarters,

Nord-Aviation (English: Northern Aviation) was a state-owned French aircraft manufacturer. The bulk of its facilities were based on the site of Bourges airport, in the département of Cher, in central France.

On 1 October 1954, Nord Aviation was created as a result of the acquisition of SFECMAS (Société française d'étude et de construction de matériels aéronautiques spéciaux) by SNCAN (Société nationale de constructions aéronautiques du Nord). The company's name, Nord, also became commonly used as a generic name referring to the Pingouin light aircraft. It manufactured numerous aircraft; perhaps Nord Aviation's most successful aircraft was the Nord Noratlas, a utility transport used by both military and civilian customers. Other aircraft included general aviation, trainers and experimental aircraft, as well as other transports. Nord Aviation also developed and produced its own range of missiles; perhaps the most famous of these was the Exocet, a sea-skimming anti-ship missile.

On 1 March 1970, Nord Aviation merged with Sud Aviation to create Société nationale d'industrie aérospatiale (SNIAS), which was promptly renamed Aérospatiale. In turn, this company would ultimately merged into European aerospace corporation EADS in 2000, which was subsequently rebranded as the Airbus Group.

History[edit]

Following the end of the Second World War, France's aviation industries began to rebuilt and reestablish themselves; many companies chose to consolidate and merge with one another during this period. On 1 October 1954, Nord Aviation was created as a result of the acquisition of SFECMAS (Société française d'étude et de construction de matériels aéronautiques spéciaux) by SNCAN (Société nationale de constructions aéronautiques du Nord).

A year prior to the company's creation, development of what can be regarded as perhaps Nord Aviation's most successful aircraft, the Nord Noratlas, has been completed. Nord continued the programme to schedule, fulfilling its initial contract for 34 aircraft by 25 June 1953; the Armée de l'Air went on to order another 174 Noratlases. Eventually, a total of 228 aircraft would enter French service.[1] In addition to this sizable domestic appetite, the Noratlas was an export success as well; the newly formed nation of West Germany decided to address the German Air Force's requirement for new transport aircraft by ordered a total of 187 Noratlases, the first of which being delivered during 1956.[1] While the first 25 aircraft were manufactured in France, the other 161 Noratlases were locally manufactured by the West German-based Flugzeugbau Nord company; such aircraft were designated as N-2501D.[2] Flugzeugbau Nord had been involved in the Noratlas programme from an early stage, it being the company's first post-war aviation project, having been responsible for the design and manufacture of the majority of the aircraft's fuselage.[3] In addition to these and other military customers, the Noratlas was also manufactured for the civil market, including a specialised de-militarised model designated N-2502A/B.[4]

Several of Nord Aviation's aircraft never progressed beyond the experimental stage of development. One of the more radical designs was the Nord 1500 Griffon, a ramjet-powered fighter aircraft developed during the mid-1950s to fill a French Air Force specification for a Mach 2 fighter. Two prototypes were ordered initially in a letter dated 24 August 1953, with the final contract, (No. 2003/55) in 1955; although intended to eventually fulfil a requirement for a light interceptor capable of operation from 1,000m grass runways, the two prototypes were ordered without military equipment for research purposes only.[5] Production of the envisioned operational versions, often referred to as the Super Griffon, did not take place as it was found that the requirements could be met and exceeded with less complex and cheaper aircraft such as the more conventional Dassault Mirage III.[6]

In addition to its range of aircraft, Nord Aviation also developed and manufactured a range of missiles; perhaps the most famous of these was the Exocet, a sea-skimming anti-ship missile. Development was started by Nord during 1967 under the designation of MM 38; its basic body design was based on the AS-30 air-to-ground tactical missile. The air-launched version of the Exocet was developed during the 1970s, it entered service with the French Navy in 1979.[7] The missile gained a level of infamy for its use during the Falklands War of 1982, in which several British ships were damaged or sunk by Exocets launched by Argentinian forces. Both the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Sheffield and the 15,000-ton merchant ship Atlantic Conveyor were lost to use of the Exocet.[8] Separately, an American frigate, the USS Stark, was also damaged by two Exocet missiles launched by an Iraqi Air Force Dassault Mirage F1 while patrolling off the coast of Saudi Arabia.[9]

On 1 March 1970, Nord Aviation merged with Sud Aviation to create Société nationale d'industrie aérospatiale (SNIAS), which was promptly renamed Aérospatiale. In turn, this company would ultimately merged into European aerospace corporation EADS in 2000, which was subsequently rebranded as the Airbus Group.

Aircraft production (for SNCAN and Nord Aviation)[edit]

Nord 1203 Norécrin trainer
Nord 1500 prototype
Noratlas military transport
Nord 262 airliner

Data from:Aviafrance SNCAN[10] and Aviafrance Nord[11]

Model Year Note
Nord 1000 Pingouin 1944 Communications and Liaison
Nord 1001 Pingouin I 1946 Communications and Liaison
Nord 1002 Pingouin II 1946 Communication and Liaison
Nord 1100 Noralpha 1944 Prototype - Liaison
Nord 1101 Noralpha 1946 Liaison
Nord 1102 Noralpha Liaison
Nord 1104 Noralpha 1950 Liaison - Engine test
Nord 1110 Nord-Astazou 1958 Engine Test
Nord 1200 Norécrin 1945 Tourer - Prototype
Nord 1201 Norécrin 1947 Four-seat cabin monoplane
Nord 1202 Norécrin II Tourer
Nord 1203 Norécrin II 1947 Tourer
Nord 1203 Norécrin III 1947 Tourer
Nord 1203 Norécrin IV 1947 Tourer
Nord 1203 Norécrin V 1947 Tourer
Nord 1204 Norécrin 1953 Tourer
Nord 1221 Norélan 1948 Light Trainer
Nord 1222 Norélan 1949 Light Trainer
Nord 1223 Norélan Light Trainer
Nord 1226 Norélan Engine test bed
Nord 1300 1945 Training Glider
Nord 1400 Noroit 1948 Flying Boat
Nord 1401 Noroit 1949 Flying Boat
Nord 1402 Noroit 1949 Flying Boat
Nord 1402A Gerfaut IA 1954 Delta-wing research aircraft
Nord 1402B Gerfaut IB Delta-wing research aircraft
Nord 1405 Gerfaut II 1956 Delta-Wing research aircraft
Nord 1500 Noréclair 1947 Carrier Torpedo Bomber
Nord 1500 Griffon I 1955 Research aircraft
Nord 1500 Griffon II 1957 Research aircraft
Nord 1601 1950 Research aircraft
Nord 1700 Norélic 1947 Research helicopter
Nord 1710 1950 Research helicopter
Nord 1750 Norelfe 1954 Research helicopter
Nord 2000 1948 Glider
Nord 2100 Norazur 1947 Military transport
Nord 2200 1949 Fighter
Nord 2500 Noratlas 1949 Military transport
Nord 2501 Noratlas 1950 Military transport
Nord 2502 Noratlas 1954 Civil transport
Nord 2503 Noratlas 1956 Engine test
Nord 2504 Noratlas 1958 French Navy flying classroom
Nord 2506 Noratlas Assault transport version
Nord 2507 Noratlas Rescue version
Nord 2508 Noratlas 1957 Cargo transport
Nord 2800 1950 Trainer
Nord 3200 1954 Primary trainer
Nord 3201 1954 Primary trainer
Nord 3202 1957 Primary trainer
Nord 3212 1957 Instrument flight trainer
Nord 3400 Norbarbe 1958 Army observation
Nord 260 1960 Civil airliner
Nord 262 1962 Civil airliner
Nord 500 1968 VTOL research
Nord CT10 1951 Radio-controlled drone
Nord CT20 1957 Radio-controlled drone
Nord CT41 1957 Radio-controlled drone
Nord R20 1957 Radio-controlled drone
Nord NC.853S 1957 Tourer
Nord NC.853G 1957 Tourer
Nord NC.854 1957 Tourer
Nord NC.854SA 1957 Militarised NC.854
Nord NC.856 1957
Nord NC.856A Norvegie 1957 Liaison / Observation aircraft
Nord NC.856B 1957 Four seater touring aircraft
Nord NC.856H 1957 Three-seater touring floatplane
Nord NC.856N Norclub 1957 Four-seater touring aircraft
Nord NC.858S 1957 Tourer
Nord NC.859S 1957 Tourer

Missiles[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b Cann 2015, p. 134.
  2. ^ Jackson 1974, p. 98.
  3. ^ "Hamburger Flugzeugbau." Flight International, 19 October 1961. pp. 619-620.
  4. ^ Cann 2015, pp. 134-135.
  5. ^ "Griffon overview". jpcolliat.free.fr. 30 April 2003. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
  6. ^ "Griffon derivatives". jpcolliat.free.fr. 30 April 2003. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
  7. ^ "Exocet AM.39 / MM.40". Federation of American Scientists. 10 August 1999. Archived from the original on 15 January 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  8. ^ Scheina, Robert L. (July 2003). Latin America's Wars Volume II: The Age of the Professional Soldier, 1900-2001. Potomac Books Inc. p. 316. ISBN 978-1-57488-452-4. Archived from the original on 17 March 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2016 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ DOD Letter, 23 July 1987, Subject: Formal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the attack on the USS Stark (GGG) on 17 May 1987 (U)
  10. ^ Parmentier, Bruno. "SNCAN" (in French). France: Aviafrance. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  11. ^ Parmentier, Bruno. "Nord" (in French). France: Aviafrance. Retrieved 24 November 2011.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Cann, John P. Flight Plan Africa: Portuguese Airpower in Counterinsurgency, 1961-1974. Helion and Company, 2015. ISBN 1-909982-06-7
  • Jackson, Paul A. German Military Aviation 1956-1976. Hinckley, Leicestershire, UK: Midland Counties Publications, 1976. ISBN 0-904597-03-2.

External links[edit]