Aircraft Wiki

The Fouga CM.170 Magister (Teacher) is a 1950s French two-seat jet trainer with a secondary close-air support role. It was also built in West Germany, Finland and Israel. The type was later also known as the Aérospatiale/Potez/Sud-Aviation CM.170, due to Fouga's merger with Potez in 1958.

The Magister has now been retired from military service, but some examples fly as civilian "warbirds", especially in the United States.


In 1948 Fouga designed a new jet-powered trainer to replace the French Air Force's Morane-Saulnier Vanneaus. The project was initially known as the CM.130, but became the CM.170 when the design was scaled-up to allow more powerful Turbomeca Marboré engines to be used. The unusual V-tail originates from the CM.8 glider. The Air Force ordered three prototypes in December 1950, and the first one made its maiden flight on 23 July 1952.

The CM.170 found commercial success, and was built under license in West Germany (188 by Flugzeug Union Süd), Finland (62 by Valmet) and Israel (36 by IAI as the IAI Tzukit).

The French Naval Aviation (Aéronavale) chose the Magister as a trainer for aircraft carrier pilots. This naval version was initially known as the CM.170M Esquif, then as the CM.175 Zéphyr.

In 1960 the French production switched to the CM.170-2 with more powerful Turbomeca Marboré IV engines, but the production ended two years later. Valmet built the last Magisters in 1967.


The Israeli Air Force used the Magister and its indigenous copy, the Tzukit, both as a basic and advanced trainer. At start of the Six-Day War in 1967 44 Fougas were used as light ground-attack aircraft in Sinai, as the IAF's purpose-built attack aircraft were elsewhere. They were fairly successful, but also suffered heavy losses. The Tzukit was retired in 2010.

The Finnish Air Force had a total of 80 Fougas (18 bought from France, 62 built by Valmet). They served from 1958 to 1988. The Fouga was nicknamed Kukkopilli ("Rooster Whistle", a type of vessel flute), referring to the distinctive sound of the aircraft's jet engines.


A drawing of a West German CM.170R in 1955.

In September 1961, during the Congo Crisis, the Katangese Air Force used one Magister as a light attack aircraft against UN forces. The UN Douglas DC-6B, which crashed on 18 September, killing Dag Hammarskjöld, the second Secretary-General of the UN, has also been claimed to have been shot down by a Katangese Fouga, possibly the same example. The Air Force had ordered nine Fougas, but only three ever arrived.

The Moroccan Air Force used some Magisters in the Western Sahara War (1975-1991) against Polisario Front rebels, but with heavy losses.

The Salvadoran Air Force had 12 second-hand Fougas (nine from Israel, three from France), and used them against the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) in the Salvadoran Civil War (1979-1992).


Lightweight version of the CM.170R for operation from grass or makeshift runways. Not built.
CM.170 Magister
Three prototypes and 10 pre-production aircraft.
CM.170M Magister
Two prototypes for the French Aéronavale.
CM.170R Magister
Initial production version.
CM.170-1 Magister
First production version with Turbomeca Marboré II engines; 761 built, including foreign licensed production.
CM.170-2 Magister
More powerful Marboré VI engines with 4.7 kN (1,055 lbf) thrust each; 137 built.
CM.171 Makalu
Enlarged airframe, Turbomeca Gabizo engines with 10.8 kN (2,422 lbf) thrust each. One built, lost in an accident on 20 March 1957.
CM.173 Super Magister (Potez 94)
Marboré Super VI engines with 5.1 kN (1,143 lbf) thrust each and ejection seats; one built.
CM.175 Zéphyr
A shipboard trainer for the Aéronavale, with strengthened undercarriage, catapult attachments and arrestor hook; 30 built.
Potez CM.191
4-seat version of the Magister; two prototypes built.
IAI Tzukit (AMIT Fouga)
Version built in Israel, new cockpit and composite materials. 36 built.
Fouga 90/90A
Development based on the CM.170 with Turbomeca Astafan engines with 7.6 kN (1,715 lbf) thrust each, a new canopy and upgraded avionics. One built. The 90A was to be equipped with a 790 kp Turbomeca Astafan engine, but was not built.


  • Algerian Air Force
  • Austrian Air Force
  • Bangladeshi Air Force
  • Belgian Air Component - 50
  • Brazilian Air Force - 7 (only used by the Smoke Squadron aerobatic display team)
  • Cameroon Air Force
  • Finnish Air Force - 80
  • French Air Force
  • French Navy
  • Gabonese Air Force
  • German Air Force - 250
  • Guatemalan Air Force
  • Irish Air Corps - 6
  • Israeli Air Force - 52
  • Katangese Air Force - 3
  • Lebanese Air Force
  • Libyan Arab Air Force
  • Royal Cambodian Air Force - 4
  • Royal Moroccan Air Force - 25
  • Salvadoran Air Force - 12
  • Senegalese Air Force
  • Ugandan Air Force

Specifications (CM.170-1)[]

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 10.06 m (33 ft 0 in)
  • Wingspan: 12.15 m (39 ft 10 in) (over tip tanks)
  • Height: 2.80 m (9 ft 2 in)
  • Wing area: 17.30 m2 (186.2 sq ft)
  • Aspect ratio: 7.42:1
  • Airfoil: NACA 64 Series
  • Empty weight: 2,150 kg (4,740 lb)
  • Gross weight: 2,850 kg (6,283 lb) (without tip tanks)
  • Max takeoff weight: 3,200 kg (7,055 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 730 L (190 US gal; 160 imp gal) internal fuel; 980 L (260 US gal; 220 imp gal) with tip tanks
  • Powerplant: 2 × Turbomeca Marboré IIA turbojets, 3.9 kN (880 lbf) thrust each
  • Maximum speed: 715 km/h (444 mph, 386 kn) at 30,000 ft (9,100 m)
  • Never exceed speed: 860 km/h (530 mph, 460 kn) (Mach 0.82)
  • Range: 1,200 km (750 mi, 650 nmi) (with external tanks)
  • Endurance: 2 hr 40 min (with external tanks)
  • Service ceiling: 11,000 m (36,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 16.99 m/s (3,345 ft/min) (without tip tanks)
  • Takeoff distance to 15 m (50 ft): 930 m (3,050 ft)
  • Armament: 2× 7.5 mm or 7.62 mm machine guns (not always fitted), 200 rounds/gun, a weapon load of up to 140 kg (310 lb) on two underwing hardpoints.