Bréguet 763 Deux-Ponts Sahara"1948"

RoleAirliner and freighter
ManufacturerBréguet Aviation
First flight15 February 1949
Introduction10 March 1953
Retired31 March 1971
Primary usersAir France
French Air Force
Number built20

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761/763/765 Sahara "1948"

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761/763/765 "1948"

The Bréguet 761/763/765 are a family of 1940s and 1950s French double-deck transport aircraft produced by Bréguet Aviation. The aircraft were normally called the Deux-Ponts (Double-Decker) but it was not an official name.

Bréguet began design work on the Bréguet 761 double-deck airliner even before the end of the Second World War, in 1944. It was decided that a medium-range airliner with seating for over 100 passengers would be built. The design envisaged using readily available engines with the aim of ease of manufacture and an early first-flight date. The design was known as Project 76-1. The aircraft was destined not to be the first French postwar design to fly, an honour which instead fell to the Sud-Est Languedoc, a civilianised Bloch MB161. The prototype Br.761, F-WASK, first flew at Villacoublay on 15 February 1949. The 761 featured a cantilever wing set at mid-height on the bulky fuselage. The retractable tricycle landing gear featured dual-wheel main units. The empennage had twin fins and rudders and a vestigial central fin. The prototype was powered by four 1,580 hp (1,180 kW) SNECMA 14R-24 radial engines. The Bréguets serving with Air France had up to 107 seats and an elevator between the two floors.[



The prototype Br.761 entered service with Air Algérie in 1952 as a cargo aircraft. It was withdrawn early the next year. Silver City Airways leased a Br.761 for three months in the summer of 1953 for use on the HamburgBerlin route. A total of 127 round trips carried 4,000,000 pounds (1,800 t) of freight with up to three round trips being made in a day, each leg taking 52 minutes flight time. It was rumoured that Silver City would purchase three aircraft at £770,000 but this did not materialise into a sale.

The Bréguet Br.763 Provence entered service with Air France on 10 March 1953. The inaugural route was LyonAlgiers. The type was used on European routes from Paris, mainly to the Mediterranean area, but occasionally to London. Domestic routes included Paris to Lyon, Marseille and Nice.

Six aircraft were used in response to a serious incident at Salat, Algeria where French oil rig engineers were in need of assistance. A total of 60 tonnes of heavy equipment and 200 personnel were moved to and from Algiers in four days


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Brequet 761/763/765 "1948"


Bréguet 761
Prototype with four 1,190 kW (1,590 hp) SNECMA 14R-24 radial engines, one built.
Bréguet 761S
Pre-production aircraft, powered by four 1,600 kW (2,100 hp) Pratt & Whitney R-2800-B31 engines; three built.
Bréguet 763 Provence
Production aircraft for Air France, powered by four 1,800 kW (2,400 hp) Pratt & Whitney R-2800-CA18 engines; 12 built.
Bréguet 764
Proposed anti-submarine naval version, prototype 761 was to be converted but project was abandoned.
Bréguet 765 Sahara
Freighter version for the French Air Force, powered by four 1,900 kW (2,500 hp) Pratt & Whitney R-2800-CB17 engines; four built.


Crew: 3

Capacity: 107 passengers

Length: 28.94 m (94 ft 11 in)

Wingspan: 42.96 m (140 ft 11 in)

Height: 9.56 m (31 ft 4 in)

Empty weight: 32,535 kg (71,727 lb)

Max takeoff weight: 50,000 kg (110,231 lb)

Powerplant: 4 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800-CA18 eighteen-cylinder radial engines, 1,800 kW (2,400 hp) each

Cruise speed: 390 km/h (240 mph, 210 kn) at 3,000 m (10,000 ft) (max cruise) 

Range: 2,290 km (1,420 mi, 1,240 nmi)

Rate of climb: 5.8 m/s (1,140 ft/min) at sea level

Time to altitude: 3,000 m (9,800 ft) in 13 minutes

Take-off distance to 15 m (49 ft): 1,260 m (4,134 ft)

Landing distance from 15 m (49 ft): 980 m (3,215 ft)

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The French Air Force acquired the three pre-production Br.761S aircraft, these and the six Sahara aircraft acquired from Air France provided the French Air Force with a valuable transport fleet for moving personnel and materials to the Pacific nuclear testing areas. The Sahara fleet was retired in 1972.