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