The Noratlas N 2501, often known as “Grise” (grey in French), was operated by the Armée de l’Air (French Air Force) and by many other armed forces as well. The less common N 2502 variant was equipped with a Turboméca “Marboré” engine fitted at the tip of the wings. This version was less successful than the others as only ten planes were made for U.A.T. and Air Algérie, six for the Portuguese Air Force and lastly, one plane for the C.E.V. (Centre d’essais en vol – Flight Testing Centre)
This is the factory model of the 2502 version of the Noratlas. At a 1:20 scale, it is 1.10 m long with a 1.68 m wingspan. This is an old model (c. 1953) built by La Maquette d’Étude et d’Exposition in Aubervilliers. It is made of wood and metal with some plexiglass inlays. It is still in good condition bar a few slight chips of its paint coat in some places.
The aircraft is displayed here in a configuration without the usual rear cargo doors, replaced by an “awning” used for troops and equipment air dropping. There are also two crutches located at the rear of the fuselage for support, a system also found on the actual aircraft.
To finish the display and add an element that allows to grasp the scale of the model, a Willys Jeep was added. A recent Tamiya production, this little Jeep has no origin and its only benefit is that it is of the same scale as the model.
This fine and imposing model is likely to bring back memories of this aircraft of which only one plane is still in use. On this topic, the association “Le Noratlas de Provence” is dedicated to the conservation of this unique copy still airworthy and deserves an all-round support: https://noratlas-de-provence.com/