Nord-Aviation CT 20
The Nord Aviation CT20 is a remotely controlled target drone used for testing and developing missiles or target practice for fighter pilots and anti-aircraft units. It can also be used as a target-tug, performing the towing, deploying and dropping of a target.
Starting in 1946, for the training requirements of anti-aircraft artillery, missile batteries or fighter squadrons, the Arsenal developed the CT-10. This remotely guided and recoverable target drone was derived from the German V1 pulsejet powered flying bomb and was designed to simulate a bomber. The limited performance of the CT10, allowing only propeller-driven aircraft to be simulated, lead to its replacement by the CT-20. The CT-20 is designed around the simple and efficient Turboméca Marboré jet engine. The front part of the fuselage contains the electrical equipment, electronics and the antenna. The central part houses the fuel tank and smoke canister. The rear part consists of the jet engine and the recovery parachute. The V-shaped tail allows the parachute to be fitted more easily. The two wings are swept back 30° and their tips consist of fairings housing a system that reinforces the radar cross-section of the aircraft.
After starting the jet engine, the machine was launched form a sloped ramp by two solid fuel rockets. The operator could also select the landing procedure: the fuel flow is cut off, the parachute deploys and CO2 cartridges inflated the airbags for a soft landing.
The first CT20 was launched in 1955, and the type entered service in 1958.
1569 units were built for NATO countries, Sweden, Egypt and France.
The CT20 was then modified to be used as a reconnaissance drone by the French Army, with the designation R20. Testing took place in 1963 and it was operational in 1968: the first such drone to be used in Europe.