THE LOSERS

This splendid Dassault artwork depicts the manufacturer’s Super Caravelle after taking off
DASSAULT AVIATION

The author has not found the official evaluation giving the merits, or otherwise, of each proposal from Dassault, Nord and Sud, but it seems quite likely that the confidence of Dassault and Nord in the canard arrangement — when Sud had laboured on this configuration for more than 12 months without success — may have put a lot of nails in the respective coffins of these two manufacturers’ offerings. It is clear that Sud acknowledged the prestigious aspect of the first supersonic airliners and gave much more thought than its competitors to passenger comfort, discussing in some detail cabin interior panelling and carpeting, the storage of food and so forth. Nord had much greater confidence in its superior technological competence, consequently placing too much emphasis on its turbo-ramjet powerplant and airframe integration.

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