WALTER VAN TILBORG COLLECTION
No. 12702. NDN 1T Turbo-Firecracker (G-SFTS c/n 006)
Source unknown

NDN 1T Turbo-Firecracker

01/31/2015. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "Nigel Desmond Norman (of Britten-Norman fame) founded NDN Aircraft Ltd. in the early months of 1977 to develop and subsequently build production examples of a new two-seat lightweight civil and military training and sporting aircraft of his own design, known as the Firecracker. The pictured turbo-prop powered aircraft was preceded by a piston powered prototype, designated NDN 1 Firecracker. This was fitted with a 260 hp Lycoming AEIO-540-B4D5 flat-six engine, driving a three-blade Hoffmann constant-speed propeller. That aircraft was appropriately registered G-NDNI and the first flight took place from Goodwood, Chichester, UK, on May 26, 1977, with Desmond Norman at the controls. A British Type Certificate was issued on May 24, 1979.

Subsequently a turbo-prop powered variant was developed, initially designated NDN 1T Turbo-Firecracker. This was fitted with a 715 eshp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6A-25A turbo-prop, driving also a three-blade Hoffmann constant-speed propeller. An order for three of this version, with options on a further four, was placed in September 1982 by Specialist Flying Training Ltd. (SFT) of Hamble, Hampshire. (SFT was specialized in the training of military pilots for overseas governments.) The aircraft were being marketed by a new company known as Firecracker Aircraft (UK) Ltd. The first Turbo-Firecracker, registered G-SFTR, flew on September 1, 1983, again with Desmond Norman at the controls, accompanied by John Davy of SFT. The second aircraft, G-SFTS, was flown on February 18, 1984 and the Turbo-Firecracker was certificated on March 23, 1984.

On September 1, 1984, Hunting Firecracker Aircraft Ltd. was formed to bid for the contract to build the RAF's new basic trainer to replace the Jet Provost. Eventually the Firecracker (the Turbo prefix was dropped), was one of the four finalists evaluated in 1984 as candidates for the contract, however, on March 21, 1985, the Tucano was selected for the contract. Subsequently Desmond Norman renamed his company The Norman Airplane Company Ltd. on July 22, 1985, and Hunting Firecracker handed back responsibility for the Firecracker to Normans in September 1986. No further aircraft were built.

Presently the single NDN 1 and the three NDN 1T's built are registered in the USA:

Created January 31, 2015