The Leduc 0.22 was the culmination of a series of experimental ram jet aeroplanes flown in France in the 1940s and 1950s. It was planned as a mach 2 interceptor but did not proceed beyond the test phase.
A ram jet depends on forward speed (rather than a compressor stage) to force air into the engine at sufficient compression to ignite when mixed with fuel.
René Leduc began experimenting with ram jets in 1935 but World War II meant his first test aeroplane was not completed until 1945. It was launched from a ‘mother ship’ to give it sufficient forward velocity and reached speeds of over 800km/h.
The Leduc 0.22 was planned to operate as a mach 2 interceptor.
In addition to its ramjet engine it had an Atar turbojet so it could take off and reach ram jet ignition speed under its own power.
The first of two prototypes was flown in December 1957 on its Atar engine but French government defence funding cutbacks meant it never flew using its ram jet engine.
This model represents the prototype.
Mach 2 1:72 kit completed by Leigh Edmonds in July 2001.