Nord 1500 Noréclair: Cancelled by the jet age

Would you like to see this in-game?
  • Yes
  • No
0 voters

Welcome to another suggestion. In this one we’ll be having a look at a rather elusive French naval attacker: the Nord 1500 Noréclair.

The Noréclair resulted from a clandestine request of the French Navy in 1943. The request detailed the need for a new aircraft, capable of anti-ship, reconnaissance and bombing missions that could operate from both regular airfields and aircraft carriers. This request was answered by 2 manufacturers: Nord and SNCAC. The latter offered the 1070 and Nord came with the Noréclair, also designated Nord 1500 at this point.
Development continued after the war and in September of 1945, 3 prototypes were ordered. The competing NC.1070 had also been ordered in a set of 3 prototypes. The contract was interesting as the winner of the contest could see a significant order of 105 aircraft.
The first prototype was built and had its first test flight in August of 1947 and the first feedback was not positive. The aircraft showed many issues, the engines were not reliable and not powerful enough for the aircraft, there was yaw-instability and the landing gear wasn’t good either.
On the prototype, the engines were never replaced, by the tail fin was enlarged to try and tackle the yaw instability issues. A production model was envisaged to be powered by the more powerful and reliable Bristol Hercules instead. A jet powered version was also planned.
Further issues interrupted the flight testing of the aircraft several times, leading to it only being sent to the CEV for qualification in 1949. Unfortunately it received a lot of criticism, which, in combination with the rapid development of jet engines, eventually lead to the program being cancelled. The second prototype was never finished, and it was eventually disassembled to allow the first prototype to remain operational. This one had been moved to the Center for Practical Experimentation of Naval Aeronautics in Saint-Raphaël where it was a service aircraft.

The Nord 1500 Noréclair was an all-metal monoplane twin-engine aircraft. It was powered by a pair of Gnome & Rhône 14R-25s that produced 1600 hp each. This sounds impressive, but the empty weight of the Noréclair was 8654 kg, increasing to 11989 kg when fully loaded. The vehicle could reach a top speed of 540 km/h and had a range of 3450 km. It was crewed by 3 people, a pilot and a radio operator and a machine gunner. The latter was supposed to operate remote controlled turret in a dorsal position, but that device seems to have never been mounted. This turret was to be armed with 2x MG151 20mm cannons. Another 2 of those cannons were to be placed as offensive armament. Where exactly these were supposed to be is unclear to me, several sources mention the nose, but the only source I’ve found that dates back to the development time of this vehicle mentions that the guns are in fact in the wings. It is entirely possible and even likely that this armament was not present on the prototype, as of right now I have no definite sources to prove any point on this.
The vehicle also features a bomb bay for suspended armament. This was said to be able to contain up to 2000 kg of various weapons. This armament could have consisted of several types of bombs, depth charges or a 450mm torpedo. From what we can tell, the bomb bay was in fact fully functional on the first prototype.

General Characteristics:

  • Length: 14.25 m
  • Width: 19.70 m
  • Height: 6.54 m
  • Empty weight: 8654 kg
  • Total weight: 11989 kg
  • Crew: 3
  • Powerplant: 2x Gnome & Rhône 14R-25s which produced 1600 hp each
  • Maximum speed: 540 km/h
  • Range: 3450 km


  • Offensive weapons:
    • 2x MG151 20 mm cannons (planned, uncertain if mounted)
  • Defensive weapons:
    • 2x MG151 20 mm cannons in remotely operated turret (planned)
  • Suspended weapons:
    • 1x 450mm torpedo
    • Up to 2000 kg of bombs or depth charges

Place in-game:
Its prototype status and the uncertainty surrounding its armament surely don’t make this aircraft easy to implement. However, if sufficient information can be found, it seems like it could be a rather potent addition. I feel like it could be a powerful addition to the French Naval/Attacker line where it could perhaps precede the AD-4. Alternatively a place as premium or event vehicle also seems fitting. It would however be nice for the French Air tree to be expanded with more domestic options where possible and this is one such option.


Britannica Book Of The Year 1948 : Encyclopedia Britanica, London : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
Aviation Week 1947-12-08 : Aviation Week : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
Nord-Aviation Nord 1500 Noréclair
Google Books
Google Books
Google Books


an other proto of a twin engine attacker that would be welcome either in tree or event

1 Like