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French Medium Bombers!!!


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BB3_Oregon_Steel #1 Posted 09 August 2019 - 09:29 PM

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Hi everyone, 

 

Once again, Biplane girl here to continue my love of the French (aircraft anyway :) ), and my subject for today are the FRENCH MEDIUM BOMBERS!!!  (sort of fits in with the title of this thread, pretty clever huh!?! ... YAY Me!!)

 

In researching all of this, I did notice some trends that impacted or helped determine the development of this type of aircraft by the French. 

 

1) The French had the misfortune of modernizing their air force during from the early to mid 1930's and they were caught at that vulnerable point where those aircraft were becoming obsolete but the new late 30's modernization programs had not yet entered large scale production.  This forced the French to use a number of aircraft types that really weren't competitive especially with German aircraft of the period. 

 

2) French medium bombers tended to trade speed for payload. Most German and Russian bombers in the lower tiers feature high speeds with bomb loads of around 1,000 lbs or less while French aircraft will average 2,000 lbs or more in payload but be slower as a result. This sort of puts them between the light fast German and Russian bombers and the heavy American bombers.

 

For the most part, these bombers did not play a significant part in WWII largely because they were too old to be effective by 1940 or they were too few in number.  However one of the great things about WOWPs is our ability to pit designs against the planes they were designed to fight so I, for one, would be interested to see how some of the fruits of Frances 1st rearmament program in the early 1930's stack up with the Tier II and III aircraft that were their contemporaries.  

 

So, nuff talking by the Biplane Girl coz HERE COME THE FRENCH!!!  

 

 

French Medium Bombers

Tier II – Farman F.270

Year of introduction: 1933

Crew: 5

Configuration: Two wing Sesquiplane

Powerplant: Two 800 Gnome-Rhone 14K radial engines

Speed: 155mph (250kph)

Armament: Six 30-cal machine guns

Ordnance: 2,200 lbs of bombs

 

The Farman F.270 was a development of the earlier F.60 and F.150 heavy bombers of the 1920’s featuring a mixed wood and metal structure. The 2nd prototype featured a nose glazing for the bombardier. 

 

Two prototypes of this aircraft were produced. 

 

Tier II –SPCA 30 

Year of introduction: 1931

Crew: 4

Configuration: Monoplane

Powerplant: Two 650hp Lorraine-Dietrich 18Kd W-18 inline engines

Speed: 158mph (255kph)

Armament: Three 30-cal machine guns

Ordnance: 1,800 lbs of bombs

 

The SPCA was a twin boom low wing monoplane designed to meet a Armee de l’Aire requirement for a bomber and long range reconnaissance aircraft but lost to the Amiot 143.  Two prototypes were constructed.

 

Tier II – Bloch MB.200

Year of introduction: 1935

Crew: 4

Configuration: High wing monoplane

Powerplant: Two 870hp Gnome-Rhone 14Kirs radial engines

Speed: 177mph (285kph)

Armament: Three 30-cal machine guns

Ordnance: 2,650 lbs of bombs

 

The Bloch MB.200 was an all metal high winged monoplane with a fixed undercarriage built to meet an Armee de l’Air requirement for a daylight bomber and would end up being one of the most prominent bombers for the French during the 1930’s.  The design was also constructed under license in Czechoslovakia

 

While largely replaced by the French in front line service by the beginning of WWII, MB.200’s fought in the Spanish Civil War and a significant number of the type came into the possession of the Germans following the annexation of Czechoslovaki in the late 1930’s.  These aircraft were used by the Germans in secondary rolls and were also supplied to the Bulgarian air force.  Vichy forces also continued to use the type.

 

A total of 332 of this aircraft were built.

 

Tier II – Amiot 143

Year of introduction: 1935

Crew: 5

Configuration: High wing monoplane

Powerplant: Two 858hp Gnome et Rhone 14Kirs/Kjrs radial engines

Speed: 183mph (295kph)

Armament: Four 30-cal machine guns

Ordnance: 1,800 lbs of bombs

 

The Amiot 143 was an all metal high winged monoplane with a fixed undercarriage built to meet a late 1920’s Armee de l’Air requirement daylight bomber / heavy fighter.  The fighter requirement was eventually dropped and the Amiot 143 entered into service in 1935.  By this time the design was beginning to show it’s age and began to be quickly replaced by more modern types.  However this process was not complete by the time WWII began and it saw combat prior to France’s surrender particularly in night bombing.

 

The type continued to be used by Vichy forces until replaced in 1941.

 

A total of 138 of this aircraft were built.

 

Tier III – Breguet 410

Year of introduction: 1934

Crew: 4

Configuration: Two wing sesquiwing

Powerplant: Two 650hp Hispano-Suiza 12Y inline engines

Speed: 193 mph (310kph)

Armament: Two 30-cal machine guns

Ordnance: 2,900 lbs of bombs

 

Another unsuccessful contender for the Armee de l’Air contract that gave rise to the Amiot 143, the Breguet had some interesting combat capabilities including a very heavy bomb load for the time as well as being faster than its competitor.  .   

 

A total of 3 prototypes of this aircraft were built.

 

Tier III – Potez 540

Year of introduction: 1934

Crew: 7

Configuration: High wing monoplane

Powerplant: Two 691hp Hispano-Suiza 12Xirs inline engines

Speed: 193 mph (310kph)

Armament: Five 30-cal machine guns

Ordnance: 2,000 lbs of bombs

 

Designed to fulfill a 1932 requirement for a reconnaissance bomber, the Potez 540 was an all metal high winged monoplane with semi retractable landing gear.  Almost obsolete before they entered service the aircraft spent all of World War II as transport aircraft, mostly in France’s overseas colonies.

A total of 192 of this aircraft were built.

 

Tier III – Bernard 82

Year of introduction: 1933

Crew: 3

Configuration: High wing monoplane

Powerplant: 860hp Hispano-Suiza 12Ybrs inline engine

Speed: 197 mph (317kph)

Armament: Two 30-cal machine guns

Ordnance: 2,200 lbs of bombs

 

Derived from the Bernard 80 R, a long distance flight racing aircraft, the Bernard was designed to fly extreme ranges into the heart of enemy territory and function as a “reprisal bomber”.  The aircraft was light and mounted only a single radial engine to reduce wind drag.

 

A total of 2 prototypes of this aircraft were built.

 

Tier III – Bloch MB.210

Year of introduction: 1936

Crew: 5

Configuration: Monoplane

Powerplant: Two 950hp Gnome-Rhone 14N-10 radial engines

Speed: 200 mph (322kph)

Armament: Three 30-cal machine guns

Ordnance: 3,500 lbs of bombs

 

Developed from the earlier MB.200 as a private venture, the MB.210 was a much more modern aircraft featuring fully retractable landing gear and an impressive bomb load for a two engine aircraft. They type formed a significant portion of the Armee de l’Air bomber strength heading into WWII though it was in the middle of being replaced when the war finally broke out.

 

Over 300 of this aircraft were built.

 

Tier III – Bloch MB.131

Year of introduction: 1938

Crew: 4

Configuration: Monoplane

Powerplant: Two 950hp Gnome-Rhone 14N-10 radials engines

Speed: 217 mph (349kph)

Armament: Three 30-cal machine guns

Ordnance: 1,800 lbs of bombs

 

One of the more advanced bombers to enter service with the Armee de l’Air during the 1930’s, the MB.131’s performance was somewhat disappointing.

 

143 of these aircraft were constructed and were front line equipment for the Armee del l’Air when war broke out in 1939.  Units equipped with these units suffered heavy casualties and were soon regulated to night missions.  Following the fall of France, surviving units were used mainly as target tugs.

 

 

Tier IV – Breguet 460

Year of introduction: 1935

Crew: 4

Configuration: Monoplane

Powerplant: Two 804hp Gnome-Rhone 14Kdrs radial engines

Speed: 249 mph (400kph)

Armament: One 20mm cannon and two 30-cal machine guns

Ordnance: 2,400 lbs of bombs

 

The Breguet 460 was designed as a “fast bomber” version of the Breguet 410 but was never able to meet the speed requirements set by the Armee de l’Air.  Even so, the airplane was considerably faster than most of its French contemporaries and was more heavily armed.

 

Development was halted in favor of the evolving Amiot 340 and LeO 45 but it would be three years before these newer aircraft would be ready for deployment and in the meantime, the Armee de l”Air would be equipped with increasingly obsolete aircraft which would be forced to continue service into World War II.

 

A total of 5 prototypes were constructed and an unknown number fought during the Spanish Civil War.

 

Tier IV – Potez 633

Year of introduction: 1936

Crew: 2

Configuration: Monoplane

Powerplant: Two 700hp Gnome Rhone 14M radial engines

Speed: 270 mph (435kph)

Armament: Three 30-cal machine guns

Ordnance: 880 lbs of bombs

 

The Potez 633 was the bomber variant of the ubiquitious Potez 630 family and was front line strength of the French Bomber forces during Frances participation in WWII. 

 

Tier V – Latecoere 570

Year of introduction: 1939

Crew: 4

Configuration: Monoplane

Powerplant: Two 1,125 Hispano-Suiza 14Aa inline engines

Speed: 291 mph (469kph)

Armament: Two 20mm cannon

Ordnance: 4,600 lbs of bombs

 

The Latecoere 570 was a promising design but it’s development was slowed by industrial labor actions in the late 1930s and the first prototype did not fly until 1939 after its main competitors were already in full production.

 

Only one prototype was built.

 

Tier V – Amiot 354

Year of introduction: 1940

Crew: 4

Configuration: Monoplane

Powerplant: Two 1,061hp Gnome-Rhone 14N-48 radial engines

Speed: 298 mph (480kph)

Armament: One 20mm cannon, two 30-cal machine guns

Ordnance: 2,600 lbs of bombs

 

A very modern and capable plane, like most of Frances most capable aircraft, they arrived too late and in too small a numbers. Only approximately 86 of these aircraft were ultimately constructed.

 

 

Tier V – Liore et Olivier LeO 451

Year of introduction: 1938

Crew: 4

Configuration: Monoplane

Powerplant: Two 1,061hp Gnome-Rhone 14N-48 radial engines

Speed: 300 mph (495kph)

Armament: One 20mm cannon, two 30-cal machine guns

Ordnance: 3,400 lbs of bombs

 

The most effective bomber available the Armee de l’Air possessed at the beginning of WWII.  The LeO 451 was fast, and could carry a heavy bomb load over a considerable distance. Unfortunately there were too few of them. The LeO 451s were designed with a powerful reward facing cannon and were designed to use high altitude and speed to evade and discourage enemy fighters and in this they were largely successful, especially when facing Italian aircraft.

 

452 examples had been built prior to the fall of France and an additional 102 were built for the Vichy forces.  The last example of the type was retired in 1957.

 

Tier VI – Romano R.120

Year of introduction: 1938

Crew: 4

Configuration: Monoplane

Powerplant: Two 980hp Hispano-Suiza 14AA inline engines

Speed: 323 mph (520kph)

Armament: One 20mm cannon, three 30-cal machine guns

Ordnance: 2,400 lbs of bombs

 

Another bomber which found it’s origins in the same B5 program that gave rise to the Liore et Olivier LeO 451 and Amiot 354.  The Romano prototype was reported to have excellent characteristics but was not chosen for production.  However the design was so promising that at decision was made to adopt the type as a night bomber.  However no orders had been placed and only the prototype had been built by the fall of France.

 

Tier VII – SNCAC NC.150

Year of introduction: 1939

Crew: 4

Configuration: Monoplane

Powerplant: Two 960hp Hispano-Suiza 12Y 32/33 inline engines

Speed: 373 mph (600kph)

Armament: One 20mm cannon, Two 30-cal machine guns

Ordnance: 2,600 lbs of bombs

 

The SNCAC NC.150 was designed as a fast very high altitude bomber.  I was able to achieve this via the installation of a third engine within the fuselage whose sole purpose was to drive a three stage supercharger while at high altitude.

 

Only the original prototype was actually constructed before the fall of France and the project was abandoned.

 

Ok, that's all I've got everyone!!!  


Edited by BB3_Oregon_Steel, 09 August 2019 - 09:30 PM.

"Don't mess with me because I can squish you like a bug, that is If I should decide to notice your existence in the first place".  

 

Yes, it's haughty and its arrogant but you're a battleship with 16 inch guns and Britannia Rules the Waves.  Maybe a bit of arrogance in this case is appropriate.  


Captain_Underpants53 #2 Posted 09 August 2019 - 09:55 PM

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:medal:    I wish you were driving the WoWP bus.
MSgt, USAF, (ret)

BB3_Oregon_Steel #3 Posted 09 August 2019 - 11:31 PM

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View PostCaptain_Underpants53, on 09 August 2019 - 01:55 PM, said:

:medal:    I wish you were driving the WoWP bus.

 

Thanks Cap :)

 

I guess if I were driving the bus, I'd be looking at seeing what could be done to build either full or partial tech trees for the nations which played important roles in the age that WOWPs covers and also for a few premiums to put other interesting planes into the game.  

 

I can kind of see what WG's strategy is in their approach to this.  I'd say they aren't interested in building full tech trees for release.  What they are trying to do is figure out how to make the minimum amount of investment, and take on the least amount of risk possible while still keeping people active.  This allows them to work on only a few planes at a time, like the various bombers and premiums they've released over the last year or so, rather than make the considerable investment needed to actually create a full brand new tech tree for one of the nations or groups not represented with one at this time, most notably the French and the Italians.

 

In my opinion, for whatever it's worth, we are unlikely to see anything like a new tech tree until WG feels there is enough lasting interest and buy in to the game to make it worth their while. 

 

Absent that, I think the most we will see are potentially some additions to existing tech trees (still a lot they can do with bombers there and possibly some planes that should be in the game but aren't, like the F6F Hellcat) and we'll have to settle for the occasional premium release for any of the other nations.  We'll probably also see enhancements to the whole "This plane can be for any nation" thingee that they've recently introduced which allows them to create the greatest degree of leverage for the least amount of effort. 

 

It's probably a pretty smart way to go about all this even if it is highly unsatisfying for players like me. 

 

 

 


"Don't mess with me because I can squish you like a bug, that is If I should decide to notice your existence in the first place".  

 

Yes, it's haughty and its arrogant but you're a battleship with 16 inch guns and Britannia Rules the Waves.  Maybe a bit of arrogance in this case is appropriate.  


qu33kKC #4 Posted 10 August 2019 - 01:00 PM

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"Sesquiplane" is a perfectly cromulent word.

 

 

"It was able to achieve this via the installation of a third engine within the fuselage whose sole purpose was to drive a three stage supercharger while at high altitude. "  dear Dogz, the design fail that entails.   :facepalm:

 

BB3, thanks for putting the work into all this, it's some wonderful stuff.



BB3_Oregon_Steel #5 Posted 14 August 2019 - 06:15 PM

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Thanks everyone :)

"Don't mess with me because I can squish you like a bug, that is If I should decide to notice your existence in the first place".  

 

Yes, it's haughty and its arrogant but you're a battleship with 16 inch guns and Britannia Rules the Waves.  Maybe a bit of arrogance in this case is appropriate.  





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