Approximately 31 seconds into this video of a walkaround of the 1965 Paris airshow, there's a curious aircraft shown next to a Navy F-4.

unknown aircraft 1965

The question is - what is it?


It's a Nord 500 Cadet. From Wikipedia:

A model kit presenting the concept was first shown at the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget in 1965. The aircraft was driven by two ducted fans, with three blades per fan, mounted on short wings that were able to pivot between providing vertical and horizontal thrust.

Two prototypes were constructed, one making its first (tethered) flight in July 1968.

This early VTOL concept aircraft was designed by Nord Aviation (formely Potez), the French manufacturer. They were known for their military Transall and Noratlas seen everywhere in Western Europe in the 60s.

This aircraft is similar to CL-84 and XC-142 designed at the same period. The only one to have flown:

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  • Powered by Allison T63 (aka Model 250) turboshaft, 316 hp.
  • Maximum speed: 350 km/h.
  • Ceiling 4,101 ft.

The prototype used for static demonstration:

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Bonus: Trying to fly the prototype on Youtube.

A quite funny video I may say. With nearly all the attributes of my fellow countrymen of this era: beret, cigarette... just missing a baguette under the arm.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ gets away with stereotyping by being one of "them" :) $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Nov 29 '18 at 21:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ And I thought the coléoptère was the most ridiculous plane from Nord... $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    Nov 30 '18 at 2:32
  • $\begingroup$ "Ceiling 4,101 ft." - What an odd ceiling. Is that a typo? $\endgroup$ Dec 3 '18 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ @WayneConrad: French don't use ft in engineering, it's 1,250 m $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Dec 3 '18 at 18:13
  • $\begingroup$ @mins Thanks. It say "ft." in the answer, but I can't change it to "m" because it's too small an edit. $\endgroup$ Dec 3 '18 at 19:49

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