Air Pictorial 1955-04
Boffin - The heat barrier
On February 11th the SNCAN Gerfaut IB exceeded the speed of sound in level flight using the normal power of its SNECMA Atar turbojet. The remarkable feature of this flight was that the aeroplane was fitted with a new wing of considerably increased area. The new wing gives a stalling speed comparable with that of contemporary single-seater fighters, and despite the extra weIght and drag the rate of climb of this aeroplane remains phenomenal. A brake 'chute is still used for landing. The Gerfaut's excellent performance (on 6,160 lb. of thrust) brings it a step nearer to the threshold of a new "barrier" - and one that is considerably more difficult to vanquish than the sound barrier.