Leduc 0.10

The Leduc 0.10 was a research aircraft built in France, one of the world’s first aircraft to fly powered solely by a ramjet.

Designed by René Leduc in 1938, it was built at the Bréguet Aviation factory after a protracted, semi-secret construction phase kept at arm’s length from German occupation authorities, and was finally completed in 1947. The aircraft featured a double-walled fuselage, with the pilot controlling the aircraft from within the inner shell. The circular gap between this and the outer, cylindrical shell provided the inlet for the ramjet.

It could not take off unassisted (ramjets cannot produce thrust at zero airspeed and thus cannot move an aircraft from a standstill) and was therefore intended to be carried aloft by a parasite aircraft mother ship, such as the four-engined AAS 01A & -B German-origin designs or the French-designed Sud-Est Languedoc four-engined airliners, and released at altitude. Following test flights of the SE.161 Languedoc/Leduc 0.10 composite, independent unpowered gliding tests began in October 1947. After three such flights, the first powered flight from atop an Languedoc mother ship was made on 21 April 1949 over Toulouse. Released in a shallow dive at an altitude of 3,050 m (10,010 ft), the engine was tested at half power for twelve minutes, propelling the aircraft to 680 km/h (420 mph).

The larger Leduc 0.21 flew from an air launch on 16 May 1953, and the swept wing supersonic Leduc 0.22 interceptor began testing on 26 December 1956 with a SNECMA Atar turbojet before the program was terminated in 1958.

Country: France

Manufacturer: Breguet Aviation

Designer: René Leduc

First flight: 21 October 1947

Production: 3

Length: 10.25 m (33 ft 7 in)

Wingspan: 10.52 m (34 ft 6 in)

Crew: two

Powerplant: 1 × Leduc ramjet

Maximum speed: 800 km/h (500 mph, 430 kn)

Weight: 1,700 kg (3,740 lb)

Bourget Museum (ParisFrance)

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