The French build the most striking aircraft


The French have a certain way about them. They tend to build aircraft which are striking, sometimes even odd. Here we have an example of the NC850 series of lightplanes (in this case an NC854S). Ninety two of these were built by two French nationalised aircraft factories between 1946 and 1953, this particular aircraft making its first flight in March of 1951. The NC850 was evaluated by the French military, but was originally rejected, despite having excellent visibility from the ‘bubble’ canopy. Eventually, they bought a three/four seat development as the NC 856A Norvegie.

G-BJEL (named ‘Jessie’) is based in Bristol, and cheerfully potters around the local sky on the 65hp provided by a Continental A65-8F engine. Here she is at the GVFWE, Keevil, Wiltshire

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