SNCAN, (abbreviated from Société nationale des constructions aéronautiques du Nord), or commonly, Nord, was a state-owned French aircraft manufacturer in the pre- and post-World War II era. The company had been formed as one of six state-owned Société Nationales in the 1936 reorganization of military industries, and was created by the nationalization of several aircraft factories in the north of France. It survived until 1954 when it merged to form Nord Aviation.

Société nationale des constructions aéronautiques du Nord
IndustryAerospace, defence
FateAcquired (nationalization)
PredecessorPotez (Méaulte)
C.A.M.S. (Sartrouville)
ANF (Les Mureaux)
Amiot (Caudebec-en-Caux)
Breguet (Le Havre)
SuccessorNord Aviation
Defunct1954 (1954)


Following the resolution of the 1936 general strike of French heavy industry the government of Léon Blum introduced an act to nationalize the French war industry on or before April 1, 1937. This led to the formation of six nationalized aircraft manufacturing companies, organized regionally: SNCAN (in the north), SNCAO (west), SNCAM (Le Midi), SNCAC (centre), SNCASO (the south-west), and SNCASE (south-east). A further company, SNCM, (previously Lorraine-Dietrich), was created for building aircraft engines.[1]

SNCAN was formed from the Potez factory at Méaulte in Picardie, CAMS in Sartrouville and ANF Les Mureaux in the Ile-de-France, and Amiot/SECM Caudebec-en-Caux and Breguet Le Havre in Normandy.[2]

In the run-up to the Second World War SNCAN continued to build aircraft to established designs under the original marques. They also produced several new designs and prototypes, though only one, the Potez 63 series, went into full production.[3]

After the fall of France SNCAN's assets lay in the occupied zone, and work in the aircraft industry was restricted, though in 1944 they were able to build a German sport and touring aircraft, the Me 108, under licence; at the end of the war this was continued as the Nord Pingouin.

During this period SNCAN adopted the "Nord" marque and generated a series of successful designs, the best-known of which was the Nord Noratlas transport aircraft.

In 1949 the SNCAC group was dissolved and several of its assets were absorbed by SNCAN; however a further period of rationalization saw SNCAN merge with SFECMAS, the recently-privatized French government Air Arsenal, and renamed “Nord Aviation”,

Later, in 1970, Nord merged with Sud Aviation to form Aerospatiale, the French government's primary aircraft manufacturer.


Aircraft designed and built by SNCAN include the Pingouin, in 1944; the Norécrin, a 3-seat cabin monoplane trainer, in 1945: the Norélan, a 3-seat trainer, in 1948: and the Noroit, a 2-engine air-sea rescue amphibian/flying-boat, in 1949

In 1947 Nord built a prototype carrier bomber, the Noréclair, and a prototype 2-seat helicopter, the Norélic, but neither went into production.

In 1947 Nord also designed the Norazur, a prototype 2-engine transport plane, and followed it with the Noratlas in 1949, which became the main transport aircraft of the French Air Force of the era.


  1. Hartmann, Gérard (2005-01-05), Les réalisations de la SNCASE (PDF) (in French), retrieved 2009-07-15
  2. SNCAN at; retrieved 27 June 2016
  3. Sampson Low Guide p252


  • Angelucci, Enzo; Matricardi, Paolo: World Aircraft World War II Part I (1978) Sampson Low Guides SBN 562 00095 X
  • Hartmann, Gerard:: Les réalisations de la SNCASE (pdf) (fr)
  • SNCAN at (fr)
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