Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Nord 1402 Noroit 1949-1954 by Guy Thévenin (Ardhan)

...recently published by Ardhan is this handsome 300 page volume devoted to an obscure French flying boat  designed in the immediate post-war period for the French Aeronavale. Like many French ventures of the time a number of the first examples of the Nord Noroit constructed were powered by German powerplants, in this instance the Jumo 213. Designed for a variety of missions from anti-submarine warfare to air-sea rescue, the Noroit featured a 'flattened' gull-wing with a two-step hull with a cantilever horizontal tail surface with three vertical surfaces. The floats were not retractable. It had an enclosed cabin for the seven crew with a forward viewing compartment and a large rear cabin for use in rescue operations.  The prototype first flew on 6 January 1949 powered by two 1600hp (1193kW) Gnome Rhone 14 R radial engines. The second aircraft was fitted with a retractable tailwheel landing gear for amphibious operation which was later retrofitted to the prototype. The next two aircraft first flown in 1949 were designated the Nord 1401 Noroit and were fitted with two 1800hp (1342kW) Junkers Jumo 213 engines and both were also tested with two Bristol Hercules radial engines. These two aircraft were modified to production standard as the Nord 1402 Noroit and were followed by 21 production aircraft. The last flight of the type was made on 2 November 1954 -like many French types in the immediate post-war period service life was brief and the type claimed a number of lives. The small number of aircraft constructed did see service with escadrilles 12S, 33S and 53S.  Only 500 copies of this book have been printed. The author Guy Thévenin is a former French naval Grumman Tracker pilot.

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