Aerospatiale SN-601 Corvette

  • CountryFrance
  • TypeLight corporate jet
  • PowerplantsTwo 11.1kN (2500lb) Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-4 turbofans.
  • PerformanceMax 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).
  • WeightsEmpty 3510kg (7738lb), max takeoff 6600kg (14,550lb).
  • DimentionsWing span 12.87m (42ft 3in), length 13.83m (45ft 5in), height 4.23m (13ft 11in). Wing area 22.0m2 (236.8sq ft).
  • CapacityFlightcrew 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.
  • ProductionOne prototype SN-600 and 39 production SN-601s built, with an estimated 35 remaining in service in 1998.

Corvette was designed by Aerospatiale in order to fulfill a number of requirements such as for being made avaiable as a commuter airliner, aerial photography, airline pilot training, air ambulance, air taxi, express freight and navigation aid calibration work but it was used mainly as a small corporate transport.

Corevtte, however was not a commercial success and remains the only venture of Aerospatiale's into the executive jet market.

SN-600m frst prototype model, was powered by 9.8kN (2200lb) JT15D-1s and flew for the first time on July 16 1970, but could only complete 270 hours of test and development flying before crashing on March 23 the following year.

This was follwoed by the SN-601, which was fuelled by a powerful JT15D-4 turbofans and a stretched fuselage compared to the prototype model.

The first SN-601, or Corvette 100, made its maiden flight on December 20 1972. SN-601 Corvette, the second version and the first production standrad aircraft first flew on March 7 1973, and a third on January 12 1974.

The Corvette received French civil certification on May 28 1974.

Commercial manufacturing was delayed by strikes at engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Canada (then UACL).

Corvette remained in production till 1977. Only 40 were produced (because of lower sales than anticipated) even though initially 20 aircrafts were meant to be produced in 1974 and six a month for 1975 and thereafter. Plans for a 2.08m (6ft 7in) stretched 18 seat Corvette 200 were shelved.

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

Pictures of Aerospatiale SN-601 Corvette