On this day, in 1960, the MD 410 Spirale made its first flight in Bordeaux-Mérignac with Paul Boudier and Gilles Brecq at the controls.
On May 26, 1959, seeing that their respective corporations were working on the same type of program (the Voltigeur and the Communauté) and for reasons of increased efficiency and cost-effectiveness, Marcel Dassault and Sud-Aviation CEO Georges Héreil decided to join forces to build a twin-engine aircraft for two different missions :
- liaison, training and ground attack. This aircraft was flown by GAMD under the name Communauté
- ground attack and multi-purpose missions along the lines of Sud Aviation’s
The Spirale nonetheless made its maiden flight at Bordeaux-Mérignac on April 8, 1960, with Paul Boudier and Gilles Brecq at the controls. As the Air Force general staff werer eager to have an inter-forces cooperation aircraft, another project was presented: the Spirale III (an exact enlargement of the Spirale 01 by a factor of 1.3). This light short take-off and landing military transport was to be equipped with twin 1,295 hp Turboméca Turmo III D turboprops. For Sud-Aviation and Dassault, this aircraft met the requirements of the Air Force, as well as those of small companies for their secondary connections. In January 1962, the defense procurement (Comité Technique des Programmes et des Fabrications d’Armement – CTPFA) chose the Spirale III. Two prototypes were ordered on April 24, but the contract was broken off on August 20 for lack of funding, even though Italy, Australia and South Africa had all, at one time or another, shown in interest in the aircraft.