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"Favorite WWII French Aircraft?" Topic

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World War Two in the Air

527 hits since 10 Aug 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2018 3:22 p.m. PST

What's your favorite French, WWII aircraft?

bobspruster10 Aug 2018 4:20 p.m. PST


Timbo W10 Aug 2018 4:23 p.m. PST


KSmyth10 Aug 2018 5:58 p.m. PST

Amiot 143. Anything that looks like a moving van with wings gets my vote.

BW195910 Aug 2018 6:50 p.m. PST

Ms 406


cj177610 Aug 2018 7:44 p.m. PST

Breguet 693

Patrick Sexton Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2018 7:46 p.m. PST

Breguet 690 series.


Ferozopore10 Aug 2018 8:11 p.m. PST

Curtiss Hawk 75A fighter

Personal logo Texas Jack Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2018 2:02 a.m. PST

My favorite would be the Hawk 75, but for French produced aircraft I would choose the Potez 630.

slugbalancer11 Aug 2018 2:13 a.m. PST

Amiot 143M or Bloch MB.200

21eRegt11 Aug 2018 4:36 a.m. PST


Vigilant11 Aug 2018 5:12 a.m. PST

Toss-up between the D-520 and the MS 406. Look good with the Vichy stripes.

boggler11 Aug 2018 7:58 a.m. PST

Amiot 143 – so wrong it's right.

Jacques11 Aug 2018 8:51 a.m. PST

Amiot 143

rmaker11 Aug 2018 10:31 a.m. PST

Potez 63.11

Ferozopore11 Aug 2018 10:49 a.m. PST

Almost forgot…. The Late 298 torpedo bomber. With those two floats, it looks like a refugee from the Alaska bush.

Personal logo Buckeye AKA Darryl Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2018 5:40 a.m. PST


Walking Sailor12 Aug 2018 11:54 a.m. PST


Walking Sailor12 Aug 2018 2:03 p.m. PST

F-5B (an unarmed photo-reconnaissance version of the P-38 Lightning) The aircraft in which Antoine de Saint-Exupéry disappeared.

Personal logo ACWBill Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2018 4:43 p.m. PST

D 520

Personal logo brass1 Supporting Member of TMP14 Aug 2018 9:12 a.m. PST

LN 401

Farman F.222 comes in a close second.


King Cobra Inactive Member14 Aug 2018 4:32 p.m. PST

MB 152

Mark 117 Aug 2018 2:42 p.m. PST

Amiot 143 – so wrong it's right.

Yes, but … have you LOOKED at a Breguet 690?

Gets my vote.

Bit of an odd looking bird, to say the least. But the specs seem quite good for a 1940 ground attack bird:
300mph+ max speed
1 x 20mm autocannon + 2 x 7.5mm MGs firing forward
1,000lbs max bombload (most often 880 lbs carried as 8 x 110lb bombs)
Armor for the crew, self-sealing fuel tanks

Operationally, it does not seem to have done as well as the specs might lead one to expect. Seems they were fairly vulnerable to ground fire, and not particularly accurate in their bombing. I haven't seen much info on why.


One of my favorite planes. But in French service I find the Glenn Martin 167 more compelling. This would get my second vote (if I got a second vote).

It equipped more formations when the campaign came in 1940. It had lower loss-per-sortie rates than almost any other bomber in French service.

And … it was never taken into battle by the USAAF (at least not to my readings), which makes it a much more interesting plane for me. Not just a US plane flying under different colors, but a different plane, an unfamiliar plane, that can only be found if you look into small deployments in French and British service (and the French flew more of them than the British did, even given some quantity re-directed to the RAF from French orders).

(aka: Mk 1)

emckinney02 Dec 2018 4:43 p.m. PST

"Yes, but … have you LOOKED at a Breguet 690?"

It's hard to realize because you hardly see them in photos with other aircraft, but the Breguet 69x series were tiny. Just really, really tiny aircraft for twin engines.

"Seems they were fairly vulnerable to ground fire, and not particularly accurate in their bombing. I haven't seen much info on why."

No bombsight. Intended use was to fly at an altitude of 5 to 15 meters (yes, you read that right), and make laydown attacks with the 8 light bombs stacked one on top of the other in the bomb bay. The bombs had 8 to 11 second delay fuses. Since the bombs would skid and skip as they hit the ground, longs and shorts we're unpredictable. It was also impossible to hit a bridge or similar target.

Of course, low-altitude attacks like that were torn apart by 20mm flak and MGs in the flat terrain of the Low Countries. The Breguets were forced to medium altitude after that, which meant that bomb aiming was simple guesswork.

Oh, and the rear gun had its field of fire limited to between the twin vertical stabilizers. That was a total angle of only about 30 degrees (15 degrees on either side of straight back).

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