maanantai 20. kesäkuuta 2016

Loire 46

The Loire 46 was a French single-seater fighter aircraft of the 1930s. A high-winged monoplane designed and built by Loire Aviation, it was purchased by the French Air Force. It was also supplied to the Spanish Republican forces during the Spanish Civil War, but was almost out of service by the outbreak of World War II.

The Loire 46 was an improved modification of two previous Loire fighters—the Loire 43 and 45. Although improved, it resembled the earlier machines retaining their gull mono-wing configuration, open cockpit, and fixed landing gear. The first of five prototype Loire 46s flew in September 1934. It demonstrated excellent handling characteristics and 60 production aircraft were ordered by the Armée de l'Air.

The initial machines arrived at fighter Escadrilles in August 1936. In September 1936, the five prototype Loire 46s were sent to the Republican forces during the Spanish Civil War.

By the beginning of World War II, the Loire 46's gull wing configuration was recognized as obsolete and most of these fighters had been relegated to Armée de l'Air training schools, where they were used as advanced trainers. However, one fighter Escadrille was still equipped with the Loire 46 during the early weeks of the war. Their performance against modern German fighters was predictable.

Loire 46
Single-seat fighter/trainer aircraft.
France, Armee de l'Air
Spain: Spanish Republican Air Force

Specifications Loire 46
Crew: 1
Length: 7.88 m 
Wingspan: 11.83 m
Height: 4.13 m 
Wing area: 19.50 m² 
Empty weight: 1,450 kg 
Loaded weight: 2,100 kg 
Powerplant: 1 × Gnome-Rhône 14Kfs 14-cylinder, air-cooled radial piston engine, 694 kW (930 hp)
Maximum speed: 370 km/h 
Range: 750 km 
Service ceiling: 11,750 m
Rate of climb: 12.09 meters per second 
Climb to 3,000 m / 3.3 min
Guns: 4× fixed forward-firing 7.5 mm  MAC 1934 mg, mounted in the wings

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