Charles Fauvel biography

Fauvel gliders and airplanes

Why a flying wing ?

Some technical materials...

In flight


Precursors and successors



Noin "Choucas"
The Choucas on the
cover of a French
Prototype on ground The Choucas over
Choucas in flight
(click on the pictures to enlarge them in a new window)

The Choucas (French for "jackdaw) is a two-seater touring motorglider designed by Claude Noin, who previously designed the Sirius, an ultralight single-seater motorglider. The Choucas can fullfil the FAI requirements for ultralight aircraft, and the "flying wing" formula was chosen because of its lower weight due to the short fuselage and the lack of a tailplane. The general appearance of the Choucas is very close to the Fauvel AV-221 : tractor engine, side by side seating, swept forward wing to minimize CG shifts. The wing uses a modified Abrial/St Cyr airfoil, with 17 % thickness, it can be detached in two parts weighing 55 kg each (on the prototype). The wing uses wood, foam, fibreglass and fabric, and the fuselage is made of moulded composite parts. The engine is a light fan-cooled Rotax 503 two-stroke engine. The landing gear is a one-piece composite part, and can be used as a step to access the cockpit.

The Choucas prototype made its first flight in 1995. On production types the empty weight can be decreased by the use of carbon, to meet the FAI requirements for ultralights, with all the advantages of this kind of certification in Europe. The Choucas is available as a homebuilt project, using several components pre-manufactured by ALPAERO in France. It beneficiates from very interesting flight characteristics, especially at low speed. Read more about it in our "in flight" section (test flight by Philippe Tisserand, "Vol Moteur" magazine).

Characteristics and performance of the Choucas
Wing span 14.35 m
Length 5.30 m
Wing area 21.30 m2
Airfoil modified Abrial/St Cyr 17% airfoil
Empty weight 310 kg (prototype)
Max. weight 530 kg (prototype)
Min. speed 55 km/h
Max. speed 165 km/h
Best glide ratio 23:1 at 85 km/h
Minimum sink rate less than 1 m/s at 80 km/h