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PQM-56 target

The CT-41 Narval was a very imposing craft of 10 meters in length, 3.6 meters wingspan and a mass of 3200 kg with the two launch boosters. With 570 kg of fuel, it had a range of 6 to 12 minutes depending on the flight profile. Drawing upon their great experience obtained with the development and production of the C.T.10 and C.T.20, Nord embarked upon the C.T.41 in 1957; No 01 was fired early in 1959 and test vehicle No 03 was exhibited at the 1959 Paris Salon. During the early flight trials structural failure resulted from aeroelastic instability, but later tests had been entirely satisfactory. The firm of Nord-Aviation (2 a 18, Rue Beranger, Chatillon-s/s-Bagneux, Seine) released further details of the C.T.41 supersonic target in August 1960.

The CT-41 Sirius ramjet, 625 mm in diameter, had an annular air inlet and consisted essentially of an external fairing, an internal body (which contained 113 liters of fuel) and other conventional elements. a ramjet (pump, regulation, diffuser, etc.). The Sirius was 4.2 meters long and had a thrust of about two tons at Mach 2 and 11,000 meters above sea level. The Sirius ramjet was first tested in flight at Colomb-Béchar on an experimental aircraft of Nord Aviation, North 625, which validated its operation and its flight area. The North 625 was tested fifteen times in four North 625A to 625D versions.

The C.T.41 has a circular-section fuselage of extreme fineness ratio, which housed (front to rear): a powered foreplane; storage battery and radio control unit in a heat-insulated compartment; nose-section recovery parachute; Doppler miss-distance indicators; transponders and other equipment (provision would be made for X- and S-band transponders, Luneberg lenses, infra-red flares and, eventually, travelling-wave transponders); center-section recovery parachute; five flexible fuel cells; braking parachute; and the fixed vertical fin, symmetrical above and below the aircraft, in which are housed the control receiver and tracking transponder aerials.

Through the center section passed the torsion box of the double-convex wing, to the tips of which were attached the Nord ramjets, each of which contained a centerbody housing the turbopumps, fuel-control and Mach-limiting unit. Apart from highly stressed attachments, which were of steel, the airframe was of AU4G or AU5GT light alloy, and it can be dismantled into five elements for shipment.

Ground equipment included a variable-elevation, zero-length launching ramp fabricated from steel tubing, and a launching and ramp control unit with a refrigerator to cool the radio up to the moment of firing. The boost unit consisted of two solid motors (the present pattern has a nose with the form of a vertical knife-edge) tied together by twin aerofoil surfaces. Flight stabilization was provided by an autopilot, which governed roll and pitch (by spoilers outboard of the engines) from vertical and rate gyros, directional control from a turn gyro and altitude from a capsule.

Tracking data was fed from a DSH airborne transponder interrogated from Type IV ground equipment, although radar tracking can be employed. When the "recovery" signal was given the engines are shut down, the rear section and fin blown off and the braking parachute deployed. At the appropriate speed and altitude the nose section was jettisoned and its parachute streamed. This made the center section unstable; it pitched through 180° and placed the body in a suitable attitude for the release of the main parachute.

A total of 62 CT.41 vehicles were eventually built in France. On 16 November 1959 Nord signed a licence with Hawker Siddeley, under the terms of which the British company may manufacture the C.T.41, and maintain and support French-built C.T.41s in the British Commonwealth. On March 21 Bell Aircraft announced a similar agreement, giving the American firm manufacturing rights and also engineering assistance in related supersonic ramjet vehicles. Bell-built CT.41s were used by the Navy for a relatively short time during the 1960s, and in June 1963, the targets were designated as PQM-56A. By the early 1970s, the CT.41 was no longer operational with the U.S. Navy.

NORD C.T.41 Canard target powered by two 24.6in ramjets and boosted by two solid motors.
Overall length 32ft 2in;
  • 5ft 10in to tips of wings or
  • 11ft 11 in to tips of control surfaces outboard of engines;
  • wing area 33.26 sq ft;
    max fuselage diam 20in.
    Target, zero-fuel 1,765 1b:
    fuelled target 2,865lb;
    boost-motors 1,765 1b;
    boost cradle 990 lb;
    launch weight 5,620 lb.
    Boost burning time 7sec;
    Mach number at boost burnout 1.6:
    max axial acceleration during launch 10g;
    times ro reach cruising speed of M2 at various heights
  • 80 sec to 65,000ft,
  • 55 sec to 52,500ft or 35 sec to 40,000ft;
  • endurances, cruising at M2
  • 14 min at 65,000ft,
  • 10 min at 52,500ft or
  • 6 min at 40,000ft;
  • normal cruising Mach number between 1.5 and 2.5

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