Potez CM.173 Super Magister
Advanced Jet Trainer / Light Strike Aircraft
Potez promoted its CM.173 Super Magister as a much-improved version of the earlier, and popular, CM.170 Magister - one prototype was completed.
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The French aero-concern of Fouga ("Air Fouga") was founded in 1920, originally tying its business to the railway industry. In time, aviation became its focus and, in 1952, a first-flight of the CM.170 "Magister" was recorded. This compact straight-winged, tandem-seat, twin-engine, jet-powered trainer went on to see production reach over 900 units through global operators numbering no less than twenty - such was its popularity. In May of 1958, the French concern of Potez, itself established back in 1919, acquired Fouga's assets and the storied Fouga name was forever gone from aviation circles as soon as 1962 - the Magister being retained as a flagship product however.
Against this backdrop, Potez attempted to interest foreign players in a new low-cost, revised version of an "ultimate" Magister during the 1960s to be known as the CM.173 "Super Magister". The product was to content with standing requirements centered on Advanced Jet Training (AJT) with a built-in light strike / Close-Air Support (CAS) capability - either for European players or the extensive global list of Magister operators.
The slim aircraft retained much of the form-and-function of its original design but incorporated benefits such as upgraded electronics, improved communications and navigation, and a reworked internal fuel system. The aircraft continued with its tandem-seating, twin turbojet layout. The wing mainplanes were straight-lined and mid-mounted while the tail unit was dominated by the trademark "V-tail" plane arrangement. A shallow tricycle undercarriage was used for ground-running, giving the aircraft a very low profile while at rest.
At the heart of this new aircraft were 2 x Turbomeca "Marbore VI" turbojet engines developing 1,080lb of thrust each. The engines were seated side-by-side in the design, aspirated by side-mounted, semi-circular intakes positioned along the fuselage sides and exhausted aftwards through individual jetpipes straddling the aft-section of the fuselage (and terminating well short of the aircraft's tail unit). Structurally, the aircraft had reported dimensions that included a running length of 33.5 feet and a wingspan of 37 feet. Gross weight reached 7,450lb.
It was intended that the aircraft would carry 2 x 12.7mm heavy machine guns and support the carrying of conventional drop bombs, rockets, rocket pods, gun pods and cannon pods for its strike role.
The CM.173 Super Magister was completed and, following requisite ground trials, recorded its first-flight on June 8th, 1964. However, it failed to generate much interest in a crowded Cold War marketplace and fell to history as nothing more than an aviation footnote.