Potez Air Fouga CM-170 Magister


Etablissments Fouga et Cie is a company formed in 1936 to develop and build sailplanes. Post-war they were involved in the development of a variety of light jet aircraft (including the CM-8R-13 Sylphe in 1949, the CM-8R-9.8Cyclope in 1951 and the CM-8R-8.3 Midjet), and the testing of jet engines. The CM-88 Gemeaux was a testbed for the Pimene, Marbore (I&II), and Aspin (I&II) engines.

The CM-170 was developed by R.Costello and P.Maubassin in response to a French Air Force specification. The CM in the designation refers to the designers. The all-metal twin engine aircraft is distinguished by the 'V' or 'butterfly' tail structure utilised by Fouga. The first prototype of three flew on July 23 1952. The first pre-production aircraft (one of ten ordered in 1953) followed on July 7 1954, with the first production aircraft following on February 29 1956. The initial order for the Armee de l'Air was for 95 aircraft. Production of the aircraft was carried out in France, and under license in Germany (Flugzeug Union Sud), Finland (Valmet OY), and Israel (IAI). A naval version (with arrestor hook), the CM-175 'Zephyr' was flown on May 30th 1959. An up-powered version of the Magister (the CM-170-2) appeared in the early 1960's. Total production amounted to 916 aircraft, first with Fouga, then Potez, and then Aerospatiale.

The aircraft has served with airforces in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Congo, Finland, France, Germany, Israel and Lebanon. Reworked aircraft have been operated by Algeria, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Guatemala, Ireland, Rwanda, Salvador, and Senegal. Some 60 of the 88 Israeli aircraft were converted for ground-attack work and used in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. The aircraft has also been seen with the national aerobatic teams of Belgium (Red Devils), France (Patrouille de France), Germany and Ireland. The Irish Air Corps six Super Magisters were amongst the last in service. Belgium continues to operate eleven aircraft. Many of the European operated Magisters have been replaced by the Dassault-Breguet/Dornier Alpha Jet, or the British Aerospace Hawk. Having served in a military role into the 1990's, the trainer with excellent performance, good flight characteristics, and a fuel burn of only 460 l/hr in cruise is now becoming a popular private aircraft with the warbird jet fraternity.

The sole example in New Zealand, ZK-FGA (c/n 216) was imported to New Zealand by Dougal Dallison in February 1998. The aircraft is a mid-series build with the original engines but fitted with hydraulic boost. It entered service with the Armee del'Air in June 1960 and was active until June 1995, accumulating 2380 hours. Rebuilt in 1983 as a light strike aircraft, it was last in service with the 8th Escadre de Chasse (8th fighter squadron) at the Centre de Tir et de Bombardement (center for gunnery and bombing) where it was used to target illuminator/ electronic target. Placed in storage, the aircraft was released in 1996. Sold to Fouga Research (Inc) in the United States, the aircraft was exported in October 1997. The aircraft came to New Zealand via the United States without being reassembled there. The aircraft was reassembled by WrightAir at Tauranga, and registered on March 17, 1998. Dougal passd away suddenly in 1999, and the aircraft was subsequently sold to a warbirds syndicate, operating as 'Caltrack Associates'

The first set of images below were made at the Warbirds over Wanaka 98 airshow, where the aircraft was in the static park. The aircraft had not yet been painted. The images aren't the best, but its difficult to achieve good results with a bare-metal aircraft in bright sunlight. The second set were taken at Whangerei in November 1999, by which time the aircraft had been painted in the colours of the Patrouille de France.

Last Text Update:- 22 March, 2000
Last Picture Update:- 27 June, 2003

Technical Data

Data is for CM-170-1


Close Up

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