French Developments

Word comes through that the French aviation industry is not only building German planes and engines but is also continuing development and construction of some original French designs where they fit in with German plans.

Most important is the fact that the three six-engined flying boats, completed some time ago, are now flying for the Lufthansa, an attempt to get them to Swiss territory having failed. These planes, the Potez SCAN 161, Sud-Est 200, and Latecoere 631, were fairly successful, and several additional models of the latter two are reported under construction.

Only new type plane reported is the craft made by Mauboussin, a company which has mainly concentrated on sport planes. Known as the M-400, this twin-engined machine is said to be a "dead-ringer" for the de Havilland Rapide, even though the engines are pushers with some 350 hp. Designed for freight. it has a 13,000-lb gross weight and 210-mph top speed.

Reported in production is the Bloch 161, a 19-ton four-engined plane for 20 to 33 passengers, of which 25 have been built for the DLH (Lufthansa) and an additional 200 are reported on order.

Other factories are building parts for BMW and DB engines, together with French designs such as the Gnome Rhone, which the Nazis are using extensively. Arado and Buckmann trainers also are being built.

Quite a few four-engined planes are said to be under development, but their actual construction is still somewhat problematic, unless they fill a specific German need.

This news clip was originally published in the "Aviation Abroad" column of the January, 1944, issue of Aviation magazine, vol 43, no 1, p 297.