French Air Force C-160 Transall

The Transport Allianz Transall C-160 is a military transport aircraft developed by a consortium of French and German aircraft manufacturers for the air forces of those two nations and that of South Africa.


The C-160 was originally conceived as a replacement for the Armée de l'Air's Nord Noratlas fleet. It is turboprop-powered and of conventional configuration for aircraft of this type, with high wings, and a loading ramp built into the rear of the fuselage.

The companies MBB, Nord Aviation and VFW formed the Transall group in 1959 for the development and production of the C-160 for the air forces of France, Germany, South Africa and Turkey. Production of the aircraft by the three companies ended in 1972, with 169 aircraft having been delivered.

Size-wise, it falls between the Aeritalia G.222 and the C-130 Hercules.

Three prototypes flew in 1963, followed by pre-production machines in 1965 and production machines from 1967. The first batch included 110 C-160Ds for the Luftwaffe, 50 C-160Fs for the Armée de l'Air, and 9 C-160Zs for the South African Air Force, 4 C-160Fs were converted to air mail transport aircraft, they were operated by Air France and given the designation C-160P.

In 1976, responsibility for production of the aircraft was given to Aerospatiale in France and MBB (now DaimlerChrysler Aerospace) in Germany.

Both companies are now part of EADS (European Aeronautics Defence and Space). Production of the aircraft from 1976 to 1985 included updated avionics, a reinforced wing housing and additional fuel tanks.

The C-160 fleets of France, Germany, South Africa and Turkey will be replaced by the Airbus Military A400M transport when that enters service. France has 55 aircraft still in service, Germany 85 and Turkey 19.

C-160 TRANSALL Specifications
Type Transport
Manufacturer Transall group
Accommodation Pilot, Co-pilot, flight engineer, navigator
Armament None
Performance Max speed 325mph (510km/h)
Wing Span 131ft (40.00m)
Length 106ft 4in (32.40m)
Height 38ft 3in (12.36m)
Weight payload 32,500lb (16,00kg), Max take off weight 112,200lb (49,000kg)
Powerplant Two Rolls-Royce Tyne 22 turboprops, 11,300shp (8,450kW) each
Variants C-160H communications relay aircraft, C-160 Gabriel ELINT aircraft, C-160D/F/Z/P transport variants