VSKYLABS Nord 1500 'Griffon' II

VSKYLABS NORD 1500 'Griffon' II
2015 Updated version for X-Plane 10.36+

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VSKYLABS 'Griffon'


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Project main features:

  • A collectors, fully animated, photo realistic model of the Nord 1500 'Griffon' II for X-Plane flight simulator.
  • New and upgraded, animated 3D cockpit.
  • New and realistic flight model for Mach 2 operations.
  • High Angle-of-Attack, High g and Supersonic Condensation animation.
  • High temperature burnt leading edges and nose when exceeding Mach 2.
  • Amazing sounds.

General information:
The Nord 1500 Griffon was an experimental ramjet-powered fighter aircraft
designed and built in the mid-1950s by French state-owned aircraft manufacturer
Nord Aviation. It was part of a series of competing programs to fill a French air
force specification for a Mach 2 fighter.

Design and development:
The Griffon featured a dual turbojet-ramjet powerplant, with the turbojet enabling
unassisted take-offs (ramjets cannot produce thrust at zero airspeed and thus
cannot move an aircraft from a standstill) and the ramjet producing extra thrust
at airspeeds above 1,000 km/h (600 mph).

Configuration was a delta wing with canards. With Major André Turcat at the controls, the Griffon reached a top speed of Mach 2.19 (2,330 km/h or 1,450 mph) in 1958, thus proving the soundness of the basic design. But the aircraft met several technical difficulties, such as heating, because the aircraft did not yet use special materials such as Inconel or titanium. The ramjet worked perfectly at high speed, but was hard to control at mid-speed. For those reasons, the Griffon program was cancelled to the benefit of Dassault Aviation's Mirage III. This unique aircraft is on display in the French Air and Space Museum, in Le Bourget, near Paris.

Specifications (Nord 1500-2 Griffon II):
(Data from Jane's)
General characteristics

Crew: 1
Length: 14.54 m (47 ft 8.5 in)
Wingspan: 8.10 m (26 ft 7 in)
Height: 5.00 m (16 ft 5 in)
Wing area: 32 m2 (344.5 sq.ft)
Loaded weight: 6,745 kg (14,839 lb)

1× SNECMA Atar 101E-3 turbojet, 34.3 kN (7,710 lbs)
1× Nord Stato-Réacteur ramjet, 68.0 kN (15,290 lbs)

Maximum speed: Mach 2.19 (2,330 km/h)

Taylor, John W.R. Jane's Pocket Book of Research and Experimental

Aircraft, London, MacDonald and Jane's Publishers Ltd, 1976.

JetManHuss - VSKYLABS 'Griffon' flying tips:

The VSKYLABS 'Griffon' is a 'clean' configuration version of the 'Griffon', with the clear canopy installed. It features an afterburner engine with similar performance to the real 'Griffon': without the afterburner it's an under powered delta aircraft, and with the afterburner it;s the Mach 2 beast. The main difference is that you can use the extra thrust as an after-burner, rather than a Ram-Jet (which can be activated only in high-subsonic speeds, and which X-Plane can't simulate yet).

 It's a delta wing platform so it's stable and can handle low-speed, high angle of attack flight conditions as well as high-speed maneuvers.

Take off:
  • Apply power (with or without afterburner).
  • At ~150 knots start pulling the stick for a clear lift-off. 
  • Final at ~190 - 200 knots.
  • Try to execute a ~4 degrees final for best visuals with the runway.
  • When crossing the threshold, power to Idle, and let it settle down to a ~160 knots touchdown.
  • Apply braking chute.
  • Apply brakes.
Recommended Mach 2 profile:

There is not much details regarding it's flying qualities and flight profiles, so, based on my experience with Mach 2 airplanes, I recommend this profile:

  • Make sure you are loaded with internal fuel. As far as I know, the 'Griffon' couldn't perform an air-refuel. (It had a drop-tank which this version doesn't features).
  • Dry powered Take-off (without the afterburner).
  • Accelerate to 330 knots at sea level (without the afterburner).
  • Climb at 330 knots to ~ 20,000 feet (without the afterburner).
  • Accelerate to Mach .8 at 20,000 feet (without the afterburner).
  • Climb at Mach .8 to ~35,000 feet.
  • Accelerate to Mach 1.25 in a shallow dive from 35,000 feet using the afterburner (which simulates the Ram-Jet engine).
  • Pull up gently for a Max powered climb starting Mach 1.25. Mach number will raise as you'll gain altitude.
  • Gently reduce climbing angle to accelerate to Mach .2+ at ~ 55,000 feet.