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.