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FOUGA SUPER MAGISTER

Fouga Magister CM.170R, 218 jet, currently being restored by the Ulster Aviation Society. Image: Mark J. Cairns

Image: MARK J. CAIRNS

This Aerospatiale (Fouga) Super Magister #218 was the fourth of the six aircraft purchased by the Irish Air Corps in 1975 and were primarily operated by No.1 Fighter Squadron at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel.

They were also shared on an “as needed” basis with the Advanced Flying Training School when ‘Wings’ courses were being held, and in this dual capacity the Fouga’s served until the last flight was made by IAC Fouga #220 in 1999.

They were also often seen at Air Shows throughout Ireland and abroad performing as ‘The Silver Swallows’ Aerobatic Display team from 1986 - 1997, initially having just three aircraft assigned in 1986, but adding a fourth in 1987. 

Fouga Magister CM.170R, 218 jet, currently being restored by the Ulster Aviation Society. Image by Mark J. Cairns
Fouga Magisters of the Irish Air Corps' Silver Swallows Display Team in the late 1990s. 218 is now owned by the Ulster Aviation Society
Irish Air Corps Silver Swallows Aerobatic Display Team Logo.webp

Image: MARK J. CAIRNS

The 'Silver Swallows' Display team's Fouga Magister aircraft were drawn from Light Strike Squadron of the 1st Support Wing, based in Baldonnel outside Dublin. Their international display debut was on July 26, 1990 at RAF Brawdy in Wales.

The Gaelic text on the side of the aircraft reads "Beag ach Fíochmhar" meaning "Small, but fierce".

Rear Side view of Fouga Magister CM.170R, 218 jet - that used to fly with the Irish Air Corps' Silver Swallows Display Team during the 1990s, is currently being restored by the Ulster Aviation Society. Image by Mark J. Cairns

Image: MARK J. CAIRNS

At their first and last ever visit to the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford in 1997, the team were winners of the Lockheed Martin Cannestra Trophy for Best Flying Demonstration by an Overseas Participant.

 

Fouga #218 was presented by the IAC to the FÁS Shannon Training Center in Co. Clare in July 2002 where it was utilised as an instructional airframe in the aeronautical department.

Fouga Super Magister 218 with Alouette III Helicopter 202 in the background at Baldonnel

After 16 years with FÁS in Shannon, it was returned to the IAC at Casement Aerodrome in 2018. After a further 3 years of storage, it was presented to the Society and now joins the other two IAC aircraft on display at the UAS: Alouette III Helicopter #202 and the Reims Rocket FR.172 #203.

Manufacturer: Aerospatiale (Fouga)

Model: Super Magister

Registration: 218
Fouga-Magister-illustration.webp
UAS Location: Hangar 2

Served with: Irish Air Corp 'Silver Swallows' Aerobatic Team

Maximum Speed:  444mph

Cruise Speed:  350mph

Engines: 2 × Turbomeca Marboré IIA turbojets, 3.9 kN (880 lbf) of thrust

Service Ceiling: 36,000ft

Rate of Climb: 16.99m/s

Range: 750miles

Length & Height10.06m x 2.8m

Wing Span: 12.15m

In Service: 1975-1999