10/31/2008. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "In 1947 the French government announced a contest for a light training aircraft to be built for use by the flying schools of the SALS. SNCAC (Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Centre, also known as Aérocentre) designed the shoulder-winged two-seat NC.850 powered by a 75 hp Mathis G4F, the sole aircraft, F-WCZM c/n 01, flew in 1947.
Although the SIPA S.90 was the winner, SALS ordered 100 aircraft of the slightly different NC.853, fitted with an 80 hp Minie 4-DC.30 engine and a twin fin tail, the prototype had its maiden flight on March 15, 1948. While NC.853 production was started, SNCAC developed the type into the three-seat NC.856 touring aircraft. Powered by an 105 hp Walter Minor engine, the prototype flew on March 12, 1949.
In July 1949 SNCAC went into liquidation after production of 27 NC.853 aircraft, the assets were taken over by SNCAN (Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Nord, later known as Nord Aviation). SNCAN continued the production of the type as the NC.853S and NC.854S (a re-engined version), as well developing the NC.856 into the three-seat NC.856A Norvigie artillery observation and liaison aircraft.
The prototype of the latter, F-WFKF c/n 1, took to the air in March 1951, and 112 series aircraft were produced for the French Army, powered by an 135 hp SNECMA-Regnier 4.LO4, or an 160 4.LO8. The 4.LO8 powered F-AZAH was produced in 1953 and it saw action during the hostilities in Algeria."