Carrier-based Strike Aircraft Prototype
The SNCAC NC.1070 was a failed French development of a carrier-based strike platform - one prototype was completed and flown.
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The French Navy's quest to reestablish its legitimacy following the close of World War 2 in 1945 led the service to, at first, take on many surplus equipment types from the United States and Britain. In time, indigenous programs ultimately went on to satisfy standing local requirements and, one such attempt, became the SNCAC "NC.1070". This initiative sought to satisfy a French Navy need for a carrier-based, torpedo-or-bomb-carrying, anti-ship strike platform. Three prototypes were contracted for and up to 100 production-quality aircraft were envisioned.
The aircraft would feature a crew of three and was given a twin-engine, twin-boom design arrangement with a centralized fuselage straddled by the straight-lined wing mainplanes. Each mainplane carried a Gnome-Rhone (SNECMA) 14 series R-25 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine of 1,500 horsepower and these were used to drive three-bladed propelled units. The booms emanated from the engine nacelles in traditional fashion, terminating at the rear of the aircraft where there was fitted a twin-vertical fin configuration. Atop these two structures was placed the horizontal stabilizer and this sat over a fixed horizontal plane. A conventional tricycle undercarriage (retractable) would be used for ground-running.
Structurally, the aircraft carried a running length of 33.5 feet and a wingspan of 65.6 feet with a height of 15 feet. Empty weight was 17,305lb against an MTOW of 23,600lb. Size was of particular importance for the aircraft would have to be cleanly stowed away on a space-strapped aircraft carrier of the period.
For armament, it was proposed that the aircraft would field 2 x 20mm MG151 autocannons in fixed, forward-firing mounts and 2 x20mm MG151 autocannons in a SAMM AB211 series powered turret (the latter primarily for self-defense). Up to 4,410lb of stores could be carried, these made up of either conventional drop bombs or aerial torpedoes.
The first of the scheduled prototypes made its first-flight on May 25th, 1947. Further testing revealed the aircraft to be largely underpowered despite its twin-engine arrangement - even without the rear turret or primary, fixed armament having been fitted. After suffering damage during a landing action in March of 1948, the aircraft was not repaired nor furthered.
As tested, the NC.1070 recorded a maximum speed of 360 miles per hour, reaching a range out to 1,835 miles and a service ceiling up to 32,640 feet.
Instead, the focus now shifted to the same design now powered by 2 x Rolls-Royce "Nene" turbojet engines - the "NC.1071". This specimen flew for the first time on October 12th, 1948, but did not produce the expended performance gains and the program was shelved in full.