(Société Pour L'Aviation et ses Dérivés)
Potez 630 "1936"

Role Heavy fighter
Manufacturer SNCAN
Designer Louis Coroller and André Delaruelle
First flight 25 April 1936
Introduction October 1938
Status Retired
Primary users French Air Force / French Naval Aviation
Vichy French Air Force / Free French Air Forces
Number built 1,39

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(Société Pour L'Aviation et ses Dérivés)
Potez 630 "1936"

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(Société Pour L'Aviation et ses Dérivés) Potez 630 "1936"

The Potez 630 and its derivatives were a family of twin-engined aircraft developed for the French Air Force in the late 1930s. The design was a contemporary of the British Bristol Blenheim (which was larger and designed purely as a bomber) and the German Messerschmitt Bf 110 (which was designed purely as a fighter).

The Potez 630 was in use by several operators during the Second World War. Following the Battle of France, both the Vichy French Air Force and Free French Air Forces used the type; a number of captured aircraft were operated by several air wings of the Axis powers. After the end of the conflict in 1945, a handful of aircraft were used for training purposes for some time.

Design

The Potez 630 was a twin engine, monoplane, fully metallic three-seater with efficient aerodynamic lines and twin tailfins. The basic design allowed for the type to replace various obsolete aircraft in the French Air Force in a wide range of roles.[7] The long glasshouse housed a crew of three, comprising a pilot, an observer or commander who was carried based upon mission requirements, and a rear gunner who manned a single flexible light machine gun. The Potez 637 featured a glazed gondola located beneath the fuselage for an observer to be carried in the prone position. Some variants, such as the Potez 631 and 633, had a vertical bomb bay located between the two crew members The 630 was a relatively simple and sound design, requiring an average of 7,500 man-hours to assemble each aircraft. All members of the family (with the possible exception of the Potez 63.11) shared pleasant flying characteristics and were designed to allow for easy maintenance

Operators

 France
France Vichy France
 Free France
 Germany
 Greece

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((Société Pour L'Aviation et ses Dérivés) Potez 630

On 28 August 1939, the French Air Force initiated the mobilisation of its units, including those equipped with the Potez 630 series.[13] Due to requests from French Naval Aviation some Potez 631 aircraft were soon diverted to replace their Dewoitine D.371 fighters. In February 1940, a new war plan, Plan V bis, was adopted; under this plan, nearly all Potez 630 and a number of Potez 631 aircraft were retired from front line service, with some of the 630s converted to become dual-control training aircraft.[13] That same month, it was decided to rearm the majority of Potez 631s, replacing their original armament of one cannon and one machine gun with two cannons and four underwing machine guns for the purpose of conducting ground attack missions; however, progress on this was relatively slow

Crew: 3

Length: 10.93 m (35 ft 10 in)

Wingspan: 16 m (52 ft 6 in)

Height: 3.08 m (10 ft 1 in)

Empty weight: 3,135 kg (6,911 lb)

Powerplant: 1 × Gnome-Rhône 14M-04 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 522 kW (700 hp) LH rotation

Maximum speed: 425 km/h (264 mph, 229 kn) 5,500 m (18,045 ft)

Cruise speed: 299 km/h (186 mph, 161 kn) at 4,500 m (14,764 ft)

Range: 1,500 km (930 mi, 810 nmi)

Service ceiling: 8,500 m (27,900 ft)

Rate of climb: 8.4 m/s (1,650 ft/min)

Guns: (original armament)

1x fixed, forward-firing 7.5 mm MAC 1934 machine gun

1x fixed, rearward-firing 7.5 mm MAC 1934 machine gun

1x flexibly mounted, rearward-firing 7.5 mm MAC 1934 machine gun

 

Bombs: 4x 50 kg (110 lb) bombs

Specifications

Aircrafttoaal encyclopedia

On 27 November 1942, German military units occupied Vichy Air Force bases and seized their aircraft: around 134 Potez 630s of several variants were taken. Of the seized aircraft, 53 were refurbished and dispatched to Romania for use as trainers and target tugs; spare engines were also reused to power a number of Luftwaffe Henschel Hs 129Bs