The Caravelle is the result of a 1951 specifi cation by the French Government, calling for a medium transport aircraft capable of carrying 55 to 65 passengers over a distance of 2000km at 600km/h. Sud Aviation won the contract, and the first Caravelle made its maiden fl ight on the 27th of May 1955, powered by Rolls Royce Avon engines. Air France and SAS became the launch customers, the aircraft entering service in 1959. Thanks to several sales tours and displays at air shows, more customers signed up for the aircraft, and an improved version offering a higher Maximum Take-off Weight was introduced.
In order to penetrate the big American market, Sud Aviation joined forces with Douglas and modified the Caravelle to better suit American needs, leading to the Caravelle VI R, 56 of which were built. Later on, Sud Aviation developed a Pratt & Whitney powered version, the Caravelle 10B. The last version of the Caravelle was the Caravelle 12, capable of transporting up to 128 passengers, but with a reduced range. The basic design had clearly reached its limits. Nevertheless, the Caravelle was one of the biggest French commercial aircraft successes, with 282 Caravelles of all versions sold.
|Empty weight||30 t|
|Maximum weight||54 t|
|Autonomy||3 600 km|
|Engines||2 Pratt & Withney JT8D7 de 6 350 kgp|
Our Caravelle, serial number 249, has an interesting history. Originally delivered to Danish charter airline Sterling, it became the personal aircraft of
Emperor Bokassa of the Central African Republic in 1975. Five years later, it returned to Europe and was operated by Europe Air Service in France, until sold to Air Toulouse in 1992. It clocked a total flying time of 41,038hrs and 23,000 take-offs and landings.
Visit of the aircraft
The airplane can be visited during our special event the Week End aux Ailes and the Visites Cockpit
While waiting to be able to visit her “for real”, you can make a virtual tour thanks to Visit Digital.