Aerospatiale (Fouga) CM.170 Magister / CM.175 Zephyr


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Aerospatiale (Fouga) CM.170 Magister / CM.175 Zephyr

In its time one of the most widely used trainer/light attack aircraft, the Aerospatiale CM.170 Magister (first produced by Air Fouga and then by Potez) was designed to meet an Armee de I'Air requirement for a jet trainer (the first in the world). The prototype made its maiden flight on 23 July 1952, and a pre-production batch of 10 was ordered the following year. An initial order of 95 for the Armee de I'Air was placed in 1954 and the first production aircraft flew on 13 January 1954. Since then over 400 Magisters have been produced for the Armee de I'Air alone. A specially-equipped naval version was produced for the Aeronavale, designated CM.175 Zephyr. Two prototypes and 30 production aircraft were built to this standard, and the Zephyr provides naval pilots with their initial experience of operating from an aircraft-carrier.

In addition to French-manufactured Magisters offered for export, the trainer was manufactured under licence in West Germany by Flugzeug-Union-Sud for Luftwaffe training schools. However, with the transfer of most German flying training to the United States by the end of the 1960s, the Magister was phased out of service. Valmet OY in Finland built 62 Magisters under licence (in addition to 18 purchased from France) and Israel Aircraft Industries also acquired manufacturing rights for the type, building many for light-tactical use as well as training. Total production was 916 aircraft.

The Magister is all-metal. The mid-mounted wings have single-slotted flaps and airbrakes. The butterfly-type tail has surfaces separated by 110.

Fuel is housed in two fuselage tanks of 255-litre and 475-litre capacity, with wingtip tanks each holding 125 litres.

The tandem cockpits are pressurised and air-conditioned, with individually regulated oxygen supplies. Ejection seats are not fitted. VHF, blind flying equipment and radio compass are standard in the trainer, while UHF, Tacan and IFF may be fitted to armed Magisters.

Armament combinations include two 7.5mm or 7.62mm machine-guns mounted in the nose, with 200 rounds of ammunition per gun. A gyro gunsight is fitted in both cockpits, the rear one having periscopic sighting. Underwing ordnance loads include two Matra Type 181 pods each with eighteen 37mm rockets, two launchers each mounting seven 68mm rockets, four 25kg air-to-ground rockets, eight 88mm rockets, two 50kg bombs, or two Nord AS.11 air-to-surface guided missiles.

About 310 Magisters of the 437 originally procured remained in service with the Armee de I'Air until the mid-1980s. A 150-hour basic flying training course was provided for commissioned pupils at the Ecole de I'Air at Salon-de-Provence, and similar instruction was provided for other ranks at Groupement Ecole 315, Cognac. Magisters also served with Groupement Ecole 313 to provide instructor training for the Armee de I'Air and basic flying training for overseas students. The Force Aerienne Belge's Magisters at the Ecole de Pilotage Avance, Brustem, were replaced by Dassault-Breguet/Dornier Alpha Jets in 1979. Finland's Magisters at the Central Flying School, Kauhava, were in the early 1980s replaced in service by the first of 50 British Aerospace Hawk trainers.

Israel is the foremost operator of the Magister as a light attack aircraft, some 80 remaining in service as both trainers and operational aircraft. The Magister was particularly successful during the Six-Day War of June 1967, flying ground attack sorties on both the Egyptian and Jordanian fronts. The Irish Army Air Corps also operates six Super Magisters in the dual light attack/training role, these being based at Baldonnel near Dublin. The Super Magister is an improved model with two 480kg Marbore VI engines.

Aerospatiale (Fouga) CM.170 Magister / CM.175 Zephyr

 MODELCM.170 Magister
 ENGINE2 x Turbomeca Marbore IIA turbojets, 400kg
  Take-off weight3200 kg7055 lb
  Loaded weight2150 kg4740 lb
  Wingspan12.12 m40 ft 9 in
  Length10.06 m33 ft 0 in
  Height2.80 m9 ft 2 in
  Wing area17.30 m2186.22 sq ft
  Max. speed715 km/h444 mph
  Ceiling11000 m36100 ft
  Range925 km575 miles

Bill, e-mail, 19.01.2015 00:25

Do you know the Fouga CM-170 CG moment ?


Scott Schenk, e-mail, 08.02.2012 17:53

While in Israel in the late sixties, I worked at Israel Aircraft Industries during and after the six day war. I was all of sixteen years old and made extensive machined parts for the Fouga. I knew Moshe Dayan and many fighter pilots. My father was Representative to Douglas Aircraft who had subcontract with IAI. This was the finest time of my life.


acroplus, e-mail, 22.04.2010 04:42

I flew them in training and airshows. It's the most fun you can have with a airplane. The handling is very balanced. The cost of opps. is as cheap as you will find for a jet.


paul scott, e-mail, 14.08.2009 00:13

A fine and unsusal, yet beautiful aircraft, one that shouldn't be forgotten. You guys are privileged indeed!


John Duncan, e-mail, 01.05.2008 20:06

The ate a great aircraft, I had 3 of them. Plan on 140 gallons per hour with the mabore 2, more for the mabore 6 version. The 2 is much cheaper engine cost, less fuel and not that much less performance. The 6 shines n single engine performance., but the 2 will accept an engine loss on takeoff and climb away ok. As a civil aircraft, it flys with light load even with full fuel, mains and tips. There should be some good bargins out there if you can afford to buy the gas.


Bill Rice, e-mail, 14.09.2007 00:30

I have had the opportunity to fly the Magister on several occasions, and have a great deal of appreciation for the aircraft. Now that I am retired, and looking for something special, I am considering buying a Magister, if I can find the right one. Great fun, and an appropriate challenge.


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