Another draught text for my private catalogue, freely translated into English here, to share with you, and to possibly arouse some comments and suggestions. Now about a very nice new addition, the French Noratlas cargo aircraft.
This remarkable model of a Noratlas 2501 was issued as the last of seven post-war French aircraft models in 1960. Therefore, it never had an old number in the 60 series, but it was the only one to be directly incorporated in the low new 800 numbers, to which also the old 60 numbers with a Dinky Toys status moved (the Supertoys - Caravelle and Super Constellation - went to the 890s). In order to have a fully closed fuselage below, it was inevitable to use two castings. The smaller lower casting is attached to the upper casting of the fuselage, tail and wings by means of two rivets. The vertical seams between these are clearly visible both at the front and the rear of the fuselage. The three black landing wheels, one small (6 mm) in front and two larger (8 mm each) main wheels behind, could be borrowed from earlier aircraft models. The red brass propeller pins were previously applied to the Constellation, but the unpainted large four-blade propellers were new, exclusive to this model. The blue / white / red roundels on top of the wings and on both sides of the tail beams were previously used for both fighter jets (Mystère, no. 60a / 800, and Vautour, no. 60b / 801). The rectangular tricolor transfers on the tail rudders are draped around the rear.
Like all French aircraft, the colour is not silver or aluminum but metallic grey. The strikingly bulbous front shows no fewer than fourteen small cockpit panes in relief that have been painted blue very accurately. The same bulbous rear end shows the double folding cargo doors and on both sides the access doors, which were also used by the paratroopers.
The model on the 1/192 scale is beautifully finished with crisp details such as the cockpit windows, the wing flaps and the windows etc. on either side of the fuselage. During its rather short career, nothing seems to have changed as the model is concerned.
The yellow box with end flaps (13 x 12.5 x 3.5 cm) is slightly larger than that for the Vickers Viscount (no. 60e / 803). The model is held in place inside surrounded by a 3.5 cm wide perforated strip of supporting cardboard. It is not uncommon for the model to slide within its box, leaving unwanted perforations of the sides caused by the sharp wing tips.
On the sides of the box the following texts can be read, which tell more about the actual Noratlas:
Below: ‘Le Nord 2501 ‘Noratlas’ est un avion français fabriqué par la Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Nord. C’est un cargo moyen facilement utilisable pour les parachutages grâce à sa grande porte arrière. Il équipe de nombreux groupes de transport de l’Armée de l’Air Française’.
On top: ‘Long de 21,96 m, il a une envergure de 32,50 m. Deux moteurs SNECMA ‘Hercules’ de 2040 CV lui donnent une vitesse maximum de 440 km/h. Son poids Total peut atteindre 20 tonnes pour une charge utile de 7.500 kg. Son équipage est de 3 hommes, son plafond 8.000 m, et son autonomie 2.500 km. Il est facilement reconnaissable à son empennage bipoutre’.
[Translated: ‘The North 2501 'Noratlas' is a French aircraft manufactured by the Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Nord. It is a medium size cargo-plane that can easily be used for parachuting thanks to its large rear door. Many transport groups of the French Air Force are equipped with this plane. 21.96 m long, it has a wingspan of 32.50 m. Two SNECMA 'Hercules' engines of 2,040 HP give it a maximum speed of 440 km/h. Its total weight is 20 tons for a payload of 7,500 kg. It has a crew of 3, a ceiling of 8,000 m, and its range is 2.500 km. It is easily recognized by its twin girder tail’].
The Noratlas was intended as a replacement for the common transport aircraft in use during and shortly after the war. It was a very successful design because several hundred units were built during the production period, which lasted for over a decade, from 1949 to 1961. It was also a successful export product, because the Noratlas also flew for the air forces of Germany, Israel, Greece and Portugal . They were in service for the French Air Force until 1989.