Nord 1500 Griffon Photo Gallery
    The Nord 1500 Griffon was an experimental Mach 2 ramjet-powered interceptor aircraft, developed from the supersonic Nord Gerfaut research aircraft. It featured a dual propulsion turbojet-ramjet configuration—the turbojet was used to takeoff and the ramjet ran at supersonic speed. Ramjet engines cannot operate at zero airspeed, but at speeds above 600 mph, the ramjet could be started and carry the aircraft up to speeds in excess of Mach 2. There were issues with the design and the airframe suffered from high temperatures due to the lack of temperature resistant materials. In addition the ramjet was found to be problematic at mid-range speeds. It made its maiden flight in 1955 and it attained a maximum speed of Mach 2.19 to set a world record for a closed circuit course in 1959. The high-performance Dassault Mirage III proved to be a simpler and cheaper jet aircraft and the Griffon was canceled. Only two aircraft were built and the second prototype was preserved and is currently on display in the French Air and Space Museum at Le Bourget near Paris.

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Posted April 10, 2022.