The Fouga CM-170 Magister was the first primary jet trainer to enter production, under a French Armee de l'Air specification. The Magister sprang from the previous work of designer Pierre Mauboussin, who was known for fitting small turbojet engines to light aircraft and gliders. The prototype of the distinctive butterfly-tail jet, built by the Air Fouga company, made its first flight on 23 July 1952. Its performance impressed the French Air Force so much that it immediately ordered 10 pre-production models, quickly followed by over 400 production aircraft. A navalized variant, the CM-175 Zephyr, appeared, fitted with a tail hook and strengthened landing gear to allow aircraft carrier operations. 32 Zephyrs were built for the Aeronavale.
In 1958, the parent company (Fouga) was acquired by the Potez company, then by Sud-Aviation in 1967, and finally by Aérospatiale. The Magister was also built under license in several other nations, including Germany (by Messerschmitt), Finland (by Valmet), and Israel. Israeli Aircraft Industries' version was initially nicknamed the Snunit ("Swallow") but this name never caught on and the airplane was later called the "Tzukit" ("Thrush") after an upgrade program in 1983. Israel also called it the AMIT (Advanced Multi-mission Improved trainer).
Manufactured by Fouga Aircraft.
The Whistling Turtle (Belgian Air Force nickname); Dinky Toy. Israeli Air Force designations included: Tzukit ("Thrush"), Snunit ("Swallow").
In addition, many nations purchased Magisters for trainer and light-attack duties. In the latter role, the aircraft could be fitted with two 7.5-mm or 7.62-mm machine guns in the nose, several combinations of underwing rocket pods or freefall bombs, and even Nord AS.11 air-to-surface missiles. Israel proved the Magister's combat worth during the Six Day War in June 1967, when the Magister flew ground attack missions in Egypt and Jordan.
|Powerplant:||Two 882 # thrust Turbomeca Marbore IIA turbojets|
|Wing Area:||186.215 sf|
|Armament:||Two 7.5 mm in nose, plus underwing hardpoints for rockets, bombs or Nord AS.11 missiles|
|Empty weight:||4,740 lbs|
|Gross weight:||7,055 lbs|
|Maximum speed:||506 mph|
|Cruising speed:||444 mph|
|Range:||575 statute miles|