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  • Fouga CM.170 Magister




    The Fouga CM.170 Magister is a 1950s French two-seat jet trainer aircraft, developed and manufactured by French aircraft manufacturer Fouga.

    General Information

    Due to industrial mergers, the aircraft has been variously known as the Fouga CM.170 Magister, Potez (Fouga) CM.170 Magister, Sud Aviation (Fouga) CM.170 Magister and Aérospatiale (Fouga) CM.170 Magister, depending on where and when they were built.


    In 1948, development commenced at Fouga on a new primary trainer aircraft design that harnessed newly developed jet propulsion technology. The initial design was evaluated by the French Air Force (Armée de l'Air, AdA) and, in response to its determination that the aircraft lacked sufficient power for its requirements, was enlarged and adopted a pair of Turbomeca Marboré turbojet engines. First flying on 23 July 1952, the first production order for the type was received on 13 January 1954. Export orders for the Magister were received, which included arrangements to produce the type under license in West Germany, Finland and Israel. In addition, the related CM.175 Zéphyr was a carrier-capable version developed and produced for the French Navy.


    While primarily operated as a trainer aircraft, the Magister was also frequently used in combat as a close air support platform by various operators. In the latter capacity, it saw action during the Six-Day War, the Salvadoran Civil War, the Western Sahara War, and the Congo Crisis. In French service, the Magister was eventually replaced by the Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet. After its retirement by the French Air Force, Magisters were purchased by several private-owner pilots in the US and have since been operated in the experimental category.


    The Fouga CM.170 Magister was developed to perform both basic and intermediate training activities. It is a compact, tandem seat aircraft with performance akin to larger, more powerful aircraft. Comparatively, it was a higher performance aircraft than the rival British-built BAC Jet Provost, and was considered by the Aviation magazine Flight International to be comparable to Fokker S.14 Machtrainer. It featured a distinctive butterfly tail configuration; a conventional tail was tried but found to be aerodynamically inferior at higher speeds. A keel fitted under the rear fuselage functions to reduce the negative dihedral effect of the butterfly tail during rudder applications.


    The Magister was powered by a pair of Turbomeca Marbore turbojet engines, which provided 880 lb of thrust each; it was promoted as offering "twin-engine safety with single-engined flying characteristics". The two engines, which were placed close to the centre line, produced very little asymmetric thrust as a consequence; this was viewed as a valuable safety feature for a trainer aircraft. While viewed as an uncommon instance, in the event of a single-engine flameout the relighting procedure was relatively quick and easy to perform. The rate of acceleration and rate of climb were less than contemporary frontline jet fighters, such as the de Havilland Vampire and Gloster Meteor, but was in excess of many of the previous generation of piston-engined trainer aircraft. The engines shared a common fuel system, but had independent oil systems; for extended range, tip tanks were provided as standard equipment.


    For more details of the development, design, operational history and variants, click here.



    Fouga Magister  Photo by Edwin van Apstal.jpg

    Fouga magister open canopies.jpg

    Fouga-Magister-312-UH  Photo by Edwin van Apstal.jpg

    Fouga-Magister-XJ-12  Photo by Edwin van Apstal.jpg


    Crew: Two.
    10.06 m (33 ft 0 in)
    12.15 m (39 ft 10 in) (over tip tanks)
    2.80 m (9 ft 2 in)
    Wing Area:
    17.30 sq m (186.2 sq ft)
    Empty Weight:
    2,150 kg (4,740 lb)
    3,200 kg (7,055 lb). Gross weight: 2,850 kg (6,283 lb) (without tip tanks)
    Fuel Capacity:
    730 L (190 US gal; 160 imp gal) internal fuel; 980 L (260 US gal; 220 imp gal) with tip tanks
    2 × Turbomeca Marboré IIA turbojets, 3.9 kN (880 lbf) thrust each
    860 km/h (530 mph, 460 kn) (Mach 0.82). Maximum speed: 715 km/h (444 mph, 386 kn) at 30,000 ft (9,100 m)
    1,200 km (750 mi, 650 nmi) (with external tanks)
    Takeoff Dist.:
    to 15 m (50 ft): 930 m (3,050 ft)
    Rate of Climb:
    16.99 m/s (3,345 ft/min) (without tip tanks)
    Service Ceiling:
    11,000 m (36,000 ft)

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