Military Factory logo
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of navy warships
Icon of a dollar sign
Icon of military officer saluting

Nord 5000 Harpon

Lightweight Interceptor Prototype Aircraft

Nord 5000 Harpon

Lightweight Interceptor Prototype Aircraft

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The Nord 5000 Harpon was a light-class, jet-and-rocket-powered interceptor proposed for the French Air Force in the early-1950s.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: France
YEAR: 1953
STATUS: Cancelled
MANUFACTURER(S): Nord Aviation - France
PRODUCTION: 0
OPERATORS: France (cancelled)
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Nord 5000 Harpon model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 1
LENGTH: 42.22 feet (12.87 meters)
WIDTH: 23.26 feet (7.09 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 12,346 pounds (5,600 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 13,669 pounds (6,200 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Gabizo afterburning turbojet engines developing 3,375lb of thrust each with 1 x SEPR-66 auxiliary rocket booster engine providing 1,690lb of additional thrust.
SPEED (MAX): 1,535 miles-per-hour (2470 kilometers-per-hour; 1,334 knots)
CEILING: 82,021 feet (25,000 meters; 15.53 miles)
ARMAMENT



PROPOSED:
1 x Nord 5103 (AA-20) series air-to-air missile.
Graphical image of an air-to-air missile weapon
Graphical image of a short-range air-to-air missile
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• 5000 "Harpon" - Base Project Designation.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Nord 5000 Harpon Lightweight Interceptor Prototype Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 2/20/2019. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
With the end of World War 2 (1939-1945), French aero-industry began the painful process of rebuilding to which many initiatives ultimately emerged. By the time of the 1950s, the Soviet Union was the primary enemy of the West and its force of nuclear-capable bombers was of high concern. This led to projects undertaken in Europe and elsewhere centered on the prospect of high-speed, high-flying interceptors intended to meet these threats head-on and at-range by direction of radar and attacking with missiles. Nord Aviation eventually attempted to deliver such an aircraft to the French Air Force - the Armee de l'Air - through its Nord 5000 "Harpon" proposal.

The Harpon was the evolution of several earlier attempts by the company to produce a lightweight interceptor. As early as 1953, the company undertook design studies on a canard-centric form featuring a rocket-only propulsion scheme - the "Nord Intercepteur Leger" or "NIL". While this design was eventually rejected by French authorities, the company followed up with a Rolls-Royce "Nene" turbojet-powered version but this, too, was passed on by the service for various design and operating reasons. Through additional testing of rocket-powered subscale models from the period of mid-1954 to early-1955, the company persevered to deliver a more acceptable interceptor form, resulting in the "NIL-6", also known as the "Nord 5000".

The new aircraft held a sleek design featuring a tubular fuselage form void of any major obstructions for excellent aerodynamic efficiency at high-speeds. The nose was extremely pointed for this same reason and all wing surfaces were finished with extensive sweepback of the leading edges (60-degree sweepback). The aircraft was given a "canard" configuration, smaller triangular wings mounted ahead of the cranked-delta mainplanes, and the mainplanes were set well-aft (at the tail section) in the overall arrangement for balance. The tail was dominated by a single, large-area triangular vertical fin. The cockpit was seated aft of the nose cone but ahead of midships with only light framing used at the canopy. However, views to the rear were obstructed by a section of raised dorsal spine.

The mainplanes were of particular note for their tips were designed to rotate to aid in maneuvering of this vehicle at high-speed. Similarly, the canards were also being designed as all-moving surfaces to help with agility.

Propulsion would stem from a "combination" arrangement involving 2 x Turbomeca "Gabizo" afterburning turbojet engines of 3,375lb thrust each at the tail and 1 x SEPR-66 auxiliary rocket booster fired through two combustion exhaust chutes under the tail. Engineers estimated the aircraft could have a straight-line speed approaching Mach 2.0 and reach altitudes beyond 80,000 feet.

As an interceptor, and going along with the aircraft's estimated inherent speed and altitude capabilities, the product would carry a single Nord 5103 series air-to-air missile under the fuselage to meet the Soviet bomber threat in short order.

However, despite its promising aspects, the Harpon was simply too great a financial and developmental risk for the French Air Force to fund development of. As such, the rocket-assisted interceptor proposal fell by the wayside and ultimately into military aviation history concerning the Cold War as more modest solutions were ultimately sought and had.




MEDIA







Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 1600mph
Lo: 800mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (1,535mph).

    Graph average of 1200 miles-per-hour.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
0
0

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.


Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Site Map

www.MilitaryFactory.com. Site content ©2003- MilitaryFactory.com, All Rights Reserved.

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world.


Facebook Logo