Nord Noratlas
Nord 2501"1953"

Role Military Transport
National origin France
Manufacturer Nord Aviation
First flight 10 September 1949
Introduction 6 December 1953
Retired 1989 (France)
Status Retired
Primary users France
Germany / Greece / Israel
Produced 1949-1961
Number built 425

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Nord Noratlas
Nord 2501"1953"

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Nord Noratlas
Nord 2501"1953"

The Nord Noratlas was a dedicated military transport aircraft, developed and manufactured by French aircraft manufacturer Nord Aviation.

Development commenced during the late 1940s with the aim of producing a suitable aircraft to replace the numerous older types that were in service with the Armée de l’Air (French Air Force) which dated back to the Second World War. In response to a competition organised by the Direction Technique Industrielle (DTI), Nord produced their Nord 2500 proposal, which was selected as the most promising. Experiences with the first prototype, powered by Gnome-Rhône 14R engines, did not impress, thus the design was revised as the Nord 2501, powered by the SNECMA-built Bristol Hercules 738/9 engines instead, which was found acceptable. Accordingly, the Noratlas was introduced to service by the Armée de l’Air on 6 December 1953.


Following its adoption by the Armée de l’Air, a number of other operators in both Europe and Africa chose to procure the Noratlas for their own military air services. Having found itself in a similar situation to France, the German Air Force of West Germany chose to adopt the same solution, procuring the type for their own purposes. The Israeli Air Force, the Hellenic Air Force, and the Portuguese Air Force all deployed the Noratlas under combat conditions. Furthermore, operators often found a wide variety of uses for the type, extensively adapting aircraft to suit secondary roles in some cases. The Noratlas was also adopted by a number of civil operators, although most aircraft were flown by military customers. As such, several hundred aircraft were produced during the Noratlas’ production run, which lasted over a decade.

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Nord Noratlas Nord 2501"1953"


N2500Prototype powered by a pair of Gnome et Rhône 14R 1600-hp engines, one built.N2501Production version for the French Air Force, powered by SNECMA-manufactured Hercules 739 radial piston engines with 2,068 PS each (1521 kW), five prototypes and 208 production aircraft built.Nord 2501ACivil transport version for UTA, fitted with two 1,650-hp (1230-kW) SNECMA 758/759 Hercules radial piston engines, four built later converted to N2502.Nord 2501DProduction version for the German Air Force, replaced some systems components of the N2501 with their equivalent from German manufacturers, 186 built (25 French built and 161 German built).Nord 2501EThe redesignation of one standard Nord 2501 for flight testing, the aircraft was used to test two Turbomeca Marbore II auxiliary turbojet engines


Crew: 4-5

Capacity: 45 soldiers, 36 paratroopers, 18 patients with medics, or 8,458 kg 

Length: 21.962 m (72 ft 1 in)

Wingspan: 32.5 m (106 ft 8 in)

Height: 6 m (19 ft 8 in)

Empty weight: 13,075 kg (28,825 lb)

Max takeoff weight: 20,603 kg (45,422 lb)

Powerplant: 2 × SNECMA-manufactured Bristol Hercules 738 14-cylinder air-cooled sleeve-valve radial piston engines, 1,558 kW (2,089 hp)

Maximum speed: 440 km/h (270 mph, 240 kn) at 21,000 kg (46,297 lb) AUW 405 km/h (252 mph; 219 kn) fully loaded

Cruise speed: 324 km/h (201 mph, 175 kn) at 1,500 m (4,921 ft) 

Range: 2,500 km (1,600 mi, 1,300 nmi)

Service ceiling: 7,500 m (24,600 ft)

Rate of climb: 6.25 m/s (1,230 ft/min) at sea level

Take-off run: 660 m (2,165 ft)

Landing run: 420 m (1,378 ft) with reverse pitch

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