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The Aerospatiale SN-601 Corvette

Country of origin  
France

Photos  

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Photo © Erik Frikke

More photos of Aerospatiale SN-601 Corvette

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Photo © Manuel Marin - Iberian Spotters
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Powerplants  
Two 11.1kN (2500lb) Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-4 turbofans.

Performance  
Max cruising speed 760km/h (410kt), economical cruising speed 566km/h (306kt). Max range with tip tanks and 45 minute reserves at max cruising speed 2390km (1290nm), at economical cruising speed 2555km (1380nm). Range with 12 passengers at max cruising speed 1480km (800nm), at economical cruising speed 1555km (840nm).

Weights  
Empty 3510kg (7738lb), max takeoff 6600kg (14,550lb).

Dimensions  
Wing span 12.87m (42ft 3in), length 13.83m (45ft 5in), height 4.23m (13ft 11in). Wing area 22.0m2 (236.8sq ft).

Capacity  
Flightcrew of one or two pilots. Main cabin seating for between six and 14 passengers, depending on operator preference. Galley and toilets were available optionally. Alternative configurations for ambulance, freighter, navigation aid calibration and photography missions offered.

Production  
One prototype SN-600 and 39 production SN-601s built, with an estimated 35 remaining in service in 1998.

Type  
Light corporate jet

History  

Although primarily a small corporate transport, Aerospatiale designed the Corvette to fulfil a variety or roles, including commuter airliner, aerial photography, airline pilot training, air ambulance, air taxi, express freight and navigation aid calibration work.

The Corvette was a commercial failure, and was Aerospatiale's only venture into the executive jet market. The first prototype SN-600 first flew on July 16 1970, but only completed 270 hours of test and development flying before it crashed on March 23 the following year. This aircraft was powered by 9.8kN (2200lb) JT15D-1s.

The subsequent production version, the SN-601, had more powerful JT15D-4 turbofans and a stretched fuselage compared to the prototype. The first SN-601, or Corvette 100, made its maiden flight on December 20 1972. The second SN-601 Corvette (the first to full production standard) flew on March 7 1973, and a third on January 12 1974.

French civil certification for the Corvette was granted on May 28 1974. Customer deliveries, delayed by strikes at engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Canada (then UACL) began the following September.

Production of the Corvette continued until 1977. The initial production schedule called for 20 aircraft to be delivered in 1974 and production of six a month for 1975 and thereafter. However this proved an overly optimistic assessment of potential sales and only 40 were built (including development aircraft). Plans for a 2.08m (6ft 7in) stretched 18 seat Corvette 200 were also dropped.

Many early Corvette customers were French regional airlines (such as Air Alpes and Air Alsace), with others sold to corporate operators in Europe. Outside Europe however the type generated little sales interest in the face of very strong competition. Many of the Corvettes built remain in service today.

Copyright Airliners.net, some information Copyright Aerospace Publications

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The backbone of this section is from the The International Directory of Civil Aircraft by Gerard Frawley and used with permission. To get your own copy of the book click here.