PUSHING the BOUNDARIES

Despite failing to gain a production order, France’s spectacular ramjet-powered Nord 1500 Griffon fighter prototype achieved some extraordinary results

NORD GRIFFON

The Arsenal 1301 glider, F-WFUZ, was used to assess the Nord 1500’s deltawing shape
Griffon 02 shows its deep, wide rear fuselage, necessary to accommodate the ramjet.
VIA WOLFGANG MUEHLBAUER

France holds a unique distinction in aviation history as the only nation to build and fly a ramjet-powered supersonic fighter prototype. In the decade following the Second World War, René Leduc was responsible for the development of a series of ramjet aircraft, culminating in his Leduc 022 Mach 2 interceptor. But it was the later and truly spectacular Nord 1500 Griffon that left the biggest mark made by such an aeroplane.

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