Aviation History Trainer


The RFB Fantrainer (or Fan Trainer) is a two-seat flight training aircraft which uses a mid-mounted ducted fan propulsion system. Developed and manufactured by German aircraft company Rhein-Flugzeugbau GmbH (RFB), it has been used by the Luftwaffe and Royal Thai Air Force.

First flown on October 27, 1977, Germany selected it as the winner of a competition to the Luftwaffe’s Basic Trainer Requirement, having beat both the Pilatus PC-7 and Beechcraft Mentor. However, no orders were forthcoming from Germany as it had committed to buying American fighters (F4 Phantom and F-104 Starfighter) which included a deal for pilot training in the United States. At one point, German flag carrier Lufthansa also reportedly took an interest in the aircraft, noting its jet-like handling. Pilots have confirmed the type to be relatively fuel-efficient and capable of providing a true “jet feel” for a reasonable price. The Royal Thai Air Force operates the FT400 and FT600 versions, using it train ab initio pilots who then went on to fly the Northrop F-5E fighter aircraft.

Powered by a Allison 250 C30 turboshaft, 480 kW (650 shp), it could reach speeds of 260 mph with a service ceiling of 25,000 feet.

Aviation History Utility


The Norécrin was developed to meet a French ministry of transport sponsored design competition. The Norécrin is a low-wing cantilever monoplane with a retractable tricycle landing gear and the prototype (Nord 1200) was designed to receive a nose-mounted 75 kW (100 hp) Mathis G4-R piston engine but flew only with a 100 kW (140 hp) Renault 4Pei (first flight on 15 December 1945 with Georges Detre as test pilot). The production version had three-seats and was designated the Nord 1201 Norécrin I. A number of variants were produced with different engines fitted. Later variants had four-seats and the Nord 1203 Norécrin V was a two-seat military variant with machine-guns and rockets. It was a successful design and 378 aircraft were built.

Aviation History Trainer Tuesday


The Caudron C.690 was single-seat training aircraft developed in France in the late 1930s to train fighter pilots to handle high-performance aircraft. It was a conventional low-wing cantilever monoplane that bore a strong resemblance to designer Marcel Riffard’s racer designs of the same period. Caudron attempted to attract overseas sales for the aircraft, but this resulted in orders for only two machines – one from Japan, and the other from the USSR. In the meantime, the first of two prototypes was destroyed in a crash that killed René Paulhan, Caudron’s chief test pilot.

Despite this, the Armée de l’Air eventually showed interest in the type, and ordered a batch of a slightly refined design. The first of these was not delivered until April 1939, and only 15 C.690Ms were supplied before the outbreak of war.

The C.690 was powered by a 230hp Renault 6Q-05 inline piston engine that propelled the aircraft to a maximum speed of 230mph (370kmh) with a service ceiling of 31,825 ft (9,700 m) and a range of 684 miles (1,100 km).

First flight took place on February 18, 1936.

Aviation First Flight History


August 23, 1948 – First flight of the McDonnell XF-85 Goblin, an American prototype fighter aircraft conceived during World War II by McDonnell Aircraft. It was intended to deploy from the bomb bay of the giant Convair B-36 bomber as a parasite fighter. The XF-85’s intended role was to defend bombers from hostile interceptor aircraft, a need demonstrated during World War II. McDonnell built two prototypes before the Air Force (USAAF) terminated the program.

Photo taken at the National Museum of the USAF in Dayton Ohio

Aviation First Flight History


August 23, 1954 – First flight of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, an American four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed (now Lockheed Martin). Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medevac, and cargo transport aircraft. The versatile airframe has found uses in a variety of other roles, including as a gunship (AC-130), for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling, maritime patrol, and aerial firefighting. It is now the main tactical airlifter for many military forces worldwide. More than 40 variants of the Hercules, including civilian versions marketed as the Lockheed L-100, operate in more than 60 nations.

Aviation History


Maritime patrol version of the Embraer EMB-110 for the Brazilian Air Force. The aircraft also has the Brazilian Air Force designation P-95 Bandeirulha. The passenger version was first flown in 1968 and was introduced in 1971 to carry 15-21 passengers. Production was halted in 1990.