What is the Nord 1500 Griffon? What are some significant facts about this airplane? 

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gsenviro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Nord 1500 Griffon was an experimental aircraft, built by Nord Aviation in 1950s. The program was aimed at testing a combined turbojet-ramjet power unit that used a jet engine for takeoff and a ramjet for cruise flight. The plane was developed as a potential Mach 2 fighter aircraft for French air force. Only two planes were ever built, the Griffon I and Griffon II, and the program was shelved in 1959. The test planes reached a maximum speed of 2.19 Mach.

The planes were characterized by a swept wing design and were equipped with elevons (for control in pitch and roll) and duct plans. It was a single pilot plane and was made mostly from light alloys. The first test flight (of Griffon I) took place on 20 September 1955 with an under-powered engine (3800 kgf thrust). Later the model was updated with a 3500 kgf thrust engine (Atar 101E -3) and named Griffon II. This plane did a large number of test flights (more than 200) before finally retiring in 1959. 

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