Last update: 12-01-2010

Nord 1750 and Aerotecnica AC.14

The story of the Aerotecnica helicopters goes back to the original research carried out in the early 1950s by Jean Cantinieau in France. Mr. Jean Cantinieau, an engineer with Sud Ouest (SNCASO) designed few types: C.100 and MC.100. It was shortly after this that Cantinieau gained the interest of the Marquis del Merito, a Spanish industrialist, who had established Aerotecnica SA as an aerial photography and crop spraying business based at Cuatro Vientos near Madrid. In 1953, Cantinieau took his designs and two prototypes to Spain where the MC.101 became AC.11 "Madrid". The helicopter was underpowered thru the hot and high conditions of Spain. A heaver engine was installed and the type became AC.12. With Spanish Government funding, two AC.12 prototypes were built. The maiden flight toke place on 20 July 1956.

Cantinieau had also been working on another project for a three-seat turbine-powered helicopter, the designs for which he had sold to SNCAN. The layout of this machine was very close to that of the AC.12. Societe Nationale de Constructions Aeronautiques du Nord (SNCAN) built two prototypes of this helicopter as the Nord N.1750 "Norelfe" which was a rather futuristic all-metal machine with a large bubble canopy and a Turbomeca Artouste I turbine mounted above and behind the cockpit. The three-blade rotor was positioned directly over the engine and had a rotorhead enclosed in a large spherical fairing. The tail rotor was replaced by a ducted exhaust gas arrangement. This was controlled by the pilot through pedals.

The three-seat Noreife prototype, F-WGVZ c/n 01, had the maiden flight on 28 December 1954 but SNCAN was occupied with other projects and sold both the aircraft and the rights to Aerotecnica who designated them AC.13A. After further testing in Spain, Aerotecnica moved to a larger five-seat version known as the AC.14. The prototype AC.14 used part of the structure of the second AC.13A but had a lengthened cabin section with a rear seating area and a larger 400shp Turbomeca Artouste IIB turboshaft engine. The tail rotor was replaced by a ducted exhaust gas arrangement. This was controlled by the pilot through pedals. The maiden flight was on 16 July 1957.

Having funded much of the Aerotecnica helicopter project, the Spanish Government placed orders for twelve examples (including 2 prototypes) of the piston engined AC.12 and ten of the AC.14. These were deliveredin 1961 to the Spanish Air Force, with the designations Z.2 (later H.2) and Z.4 (later H.4) respectively, where they served for a relatively short period. The helciopters were in service at the Flying school between 1961 and 1964. They flew during this period 2500 hours. In 1967 the aircraft where being retired by the Flying school and replaced by second hand former Korean War Bell 47G's, which where less expensive in operation (fuel) costs. Subsequently the AC.12 passed to the Group of Experimentation in flight, where they remained to their drop in 1967. Not all AC.14's have servered an active time by the Spanish Airforce. (Other sources say that only 6 AC.14's where build by ENHASA airscrew company.)

In 1962 the Spanish Government withdrew further financial support and Aerotecnica went into liquidation.

AC.12 Surivers

Z.2-06 s/n: 06 Museo del Aire, Cuatro Vientos Airport, Madrid,

Z.2-07 s/n: 07 Museo de Aeronautica y Astronautica, Madrid, E

Z.2-11 s/n: 11 Museo de Aeronautica y Astronautica, Madrid, EAC.14

AC.14 Surivers

Z.4-06 s/n: 06 Museo del Aire, Cuatro Vientos Airport, Madrid, Spain

Nord 1750 Surivers

F-BGVZ SNCA Nord 1750 Norelfe > 01 F-WGVZ/F-BGVZ