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Saturday, January 14th 2012, 8:36pm

French Aircraft for 1942

1942 is not going to be such a madcap year for the French industry as 1941 was, but several new (or modified) types will enter production.

Industry Developments:
There will be a number of mergers within the French aircraft industry in 1942, with the largest and earliest being the merger of Breguet and Nord into the creatively-named Breguet-Nord.

OOC Notes:
I am not *firmly* decided on everything here, so if anyone wishes to protest, I'll be willing to reconsider things provided that there's a good reason behind it.


Saturday, January 14th 2012, 8:36pm

This helicopter is based somewhat off the Sikorsky H-5 specs, although it is a tad bit faster due to it's more powerful (though heavier) engine. The bullet-like greenhouse nose of the Dorand G.II is mostly retained, but the complex and troublesome counter-rotating rotors are done away with, and Mr. Sikorsky's tail rotor system is adopted. This is a semi-joint development led by Dorand's SFG (Societe Francaise Du Gyroplane) and his parent company, Breguet; with extensive input from Russia's Sikorsky (particularly regarding the tail rotor system) and Atlantean helicopter designers at Roth.


[SIZE=4]Societe Francaise Du Gyroplane SH.20 Cigale[/SIZE]

[SIZE=3]General characteristics:[/SIZE]
Crew: 1 (pilot)
Passengers: 1-3 passengers (version dependent)
Length: 13.1 m (43 ft)
Rotor Diameter: 15 m (49 ft 2.5 in)
Height: 3.9 m (12 ft 11 in)
Loaded weight: 2,270 kg (5,004 lb)
Powerplant: Gnome-Rhône 9M (600 hp / 447 kW) radial engine

Maximum speed: 94.5 knots (108 mph, 175 km/h)
Max Range: 475 km (295 miles)
Rate of climb: 5.3 m/s (1,043 ft/min)
Service ceiling: 3500m

[SIZE=3]Armament / Capacity:[/SIZE]
- 2 × depth charges or 4 × 25kg bombs
- 2 panniers for mail, cargo, or casualty evacuation (1 person / 125kg each)

- SH.20: Initial 2-seat prototype, unarmed (1941)
- SH.20M: 2-seat armed variant for Marine Nationale (1942)
- SH.21: 3-seat variant for Army utility and light reconnaissance (1942)
- SH.22: 4-seat variant for Army utility (1943)
- SH.23-25: Reserved for possible export variants
- SH.26: 3-seat civilian helicopter (1944) based on SH.21
- SH.29: Engine testbed (1946)


Saturday, January 14th 2012, 8:44pm

Arsenal VG.64 Revenant

[SIZE=4]Arsenal VG.64 Revenant ("Ghost") fighter[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Design and Development[/SIZE]
The Arsenal VG.64 originated with the preceding VG.60 Revenant, with Arsenal's designers aiming to draw even higher performance out of the existing airframe. The aircraft received the latest Hispano-Suiza V-12 inline engine, the 12Z-55, and a Turbomeca two-stage variable speed supercharger. Significant aerodynamics and ease-of-production lessons were applied from the VG.60. The VG.64 gained 140kg but proved to be substantially faster than its predecessor. Another major change was the adoption of tricycle landing gear, which improved the plane's ground-handling characteristics. However, the forward landing-gear strut suffered from production quality issues, and several VG.64s were damaged or written off when the forward strut collapsed during hard or rough-field landings. Production switched over to the VG.64 in December 1941, although Amiot continued manufacturing VG.60s until April 1942.

Wingspan: 10.7 m (35.1 feet)
Length: 9.1 m (29 ft 10 in)
Height: 3.14 m (10.3 feet)
Wing Area: 18.8 m² (202.36 ft²)
Empty weight: 2585 kg (5699 lbs)
Loaded Weight: 3434 kg (7571 lbs)
Engine: 1 × Hispano-Suiza 12Z-55 (1,800 hp / 1,342 kW takeoff) with two-stage variable speed Turbomeca supercharger
Crew: 1 (pilot)

Max speed: 705 kph (380 knots, 438 mph) at 7,000 meters
Range: 1100 km (683 miles)
Service ceiling: 11,750 m (38,549 ft)
Power to weight ratio: 0.237 hp/lb at loaded weight
Wingloading: 183 kg/m² / 37.4 lb/ft²
Rate of climb: 19.2 mps (3780 fpm)

- 1 × 23 mm HS.406 motorcannon with 90 rounds
- 4 × 12.7mm Hotchkiss in wings with 300 rounds each


Saturday, January 14th 2012, 8:44pm

Bloch MB.1050D Milan Royal

[SIZE=4]Bloch MB.1050D Milan Royal ("Red Kite") carrier fighter[/SIZE]
Although Bloch's original MB.1050 Milan saw good success, with adoption by the French, Atlantean, and Brazilian naval air arms, Bloch continued pushing for higher levels of performance. The MB.1050D variant, which first flew in November 1941, saw a number of small modifications, including the use of spring-tab ailerons and the Breguet-designed SGM [1] engine management system, similar to that used on the Fw190 and the Br.890 Epaulard. One of the most significant alterations was the adoption of automatically-adjusting combat flaps, which adjusted the flaps automatically based on acceleration.

Wingspan: 12.0m (39.4 feet)
Length: 10.4m (34 feet)
Height: 4.5m (14.8 feet)
Wing Area: 28.75 m² (309.5 ft²)
Empty Weight: 4,108 kg (9,057 lbs)
Loaded Weight: 5,545 kg (12,224.6 lbs)
Max Takeoff Weight: 7,015 kg (15,465 lbs)
Engine: 1 × Gnome-Rhone Mistral Titan 18k-41 (2,470hp / 1,842 kW takeoff) with Turbomeca two-stage supercharger
Crew: 1 (pilot)

Max speed: 708 kph (382 knots / 440 mph) at 6,000 meters
Cruising speed: 563 kph (350 mph)
Combat Range: 1,400 km (870 miles)
Service ceiling: 10,200 m (33,464 ft)
Rate of climb: 17 mps (3346.2 fpm)
Wing Loading: 192.8 kg/m² (39.5 lb/ft²)
Power to Weight Ratio: 0.332 kW/kg (0.202 hp/lb)

- 4 × 23 mm HS.406 cannon in wings with 90 rounds per gun or
- 6 × 13mm Hotchkiss in wings with 450 rounds per gun
- 2 × 750lb (340 kg) bombs or rockets


- Note [1]: SGM stands for Système de gestion de moteur, or System of Engine Management


Saturday, January 14th 2012, 8:48pm

[SIZE=4]Arsenal VB.20 Rafale[/SIZE]
This aircraft was the long-delayed total redesign of the Arsenal VB.10, re-engined with the Hispano-Suiza 24Z engine. The plane would enter production in the middle of 1942 to serve as a long-ranged high-altitude escort fighter, although its high-altitude performance made it useful as a fast reconnaissance aircraft and a high-altitude interceptor as well.

[SIZE=3]General characteristics[/SIZE]
Wingspan: 14.5 m (47 ft 7 in)
Length: 11.2 m (36 ft 9 in)
Height: 4.8 m (15 ft 9 in)
Wing Area: 32 m² (345 ft²)
Empty weight: 3,600 kg (7,937 lbs)
Gross weight: 4,550 kg (10,031 lbs)
Max Takeoff Weight: 5,700 kg (12,566 lbs)
Wing Loading (Gross): 178.125 kg/m (36.4 lb/ft)
Power to Weight Ratio: 0.35 kW/kg (0.21 hp/lb)
Engine: 1 × Hispano-Suiza 24Z (2,000 kw / 2,682 hp at 5,000m) driving two three-bladed contra-rotating propellers
Crew: 1 (pilot)

Max speed: 730 kph (453.6 mph) at 8,000m)
Cruising speed: 525 kph (326.2 mph)
Range: 1,700 km (1,056 miles)
Service ceiling: 11,600 m (38,057 ft)
Rate of climb: 22 mps (4330 fpm)

- 4 × Hispano- Suiza HS-406 23 mm gun swith 160 rounds per gun


Saturday, January 14th 2012, 8:49pm

Breguet Br.900 Massette

[SIZE=4]Breguet Br.900 Massette[/SIZE]
The Br.900 Massette was based heavily on the preceding Breguet-Latecoere Épaulard attack aircraft, which entered service early in 1941 and provided the French Navy with one of its first modern strike aircraft. The Armee de l'Aire requested, at about the same time, a ground-attack strike aircraft capable of both dive-bombing and rocket attacks, replacing the earlier LN.401, Breguet 693, and Morane-Saulnier MS.440 strike aircraft. Breguet modified the Épaulard design with the updated GR-18k-44 engine, and removed the radio operator-gunner and bombardier-navigator positions to exchange weight for substantial amounts of protective armour for the pilot's position. The aircraft retained the distinctive X-pattern tail stinger dive brakes and three-rudder tail assembly of the Épaulard, and retained the carrier-landing capability. The wings, although of similar dimensions to the Épaulard wings, were of a completely new design, with four 23mm cannon as well as mounting points for rockets and bombs. The completed aircraft, in fact, carried more payload than a LeO-600 bomber, although the weight was distributed between more numerous small bombs carried underbelly and on the wings. In order to disguise its naval heritage from the Armee de l'Aire, the plane received a brand-new designation: the Massette ("Petit Sledgehammer").

Although the prototype, modified from a production Épaulard, flew in October 1941, the Massette was not ordered by the Armee de l'Aire until March 1942, and did not enter production until June. The aircraft's similarity to the Épaulard proved beneficial as the two planes shared a large number of parts, including landing gear, dive brakes, and the SGM engine management system, lowering the final cost of the aircraft.

Wingspan: 14.5 m (47.6 feet)
Length: 13.7 m (44.9 feet)
Height: 4.85 m (15.9 feet)
Wing Area: 38 m² (409 ft²)
Empty Weight: 5,052 kg (11,138 lbs)
Loaded Weight: 7,279 kg (16,047 lbs)
Max Takeoff Weight: 8,938 kg (19,705 lbs)
Engine: 1 × Gnome-Rhone Mistral Titan 18k-44 (2,650hp / 1,984 kW takeoff) with Turbomeca two-stage supercharger
Crew: 1 (pilot)

Max speed: 535 kph (289 knots / 332 mph) at 6,000 meters
Cruise speed: 325 kph (201.9 mph)
Ferry Range: 2,053.5 km (1,276 miles)
Combat Range: 1460 km (907 miles)
Service ceiling: 8,575 m (28,133 ft)
Rate of climb: 14.5 mps (2850 fpm)
Wing Loading: 191.6 kg/m² (44.37 lb/ft²) at loaded weight
Power to Weight Ratio: 0.272 kW/kg (0.165 hp/lb) at loaded weight

- 4 × Hispano- Suiza HS-406 23 mm guns with 160 rounds per gun
- 2,800 kg external ordnance on three centerline and eight wing hardpoints


Saturday, January 14th 2012, 8:49pm

Nord Norécrin

[SIZE=4]Nord Norécrin[/SIZE]
Developed for a French design competition sponsored by the ministry of transport.

[SIZE=3]General characteristics[/SIZE]
Crew: 1
Capacity: 2 passengers
Length: 7.21 m (23 ft 8 in)
Wingspan: 10.22 m (33 ft 6¼ in)
Height: 2.90 m (9 ft 6 in)
Wing area: 13 m² (139.93 ft²)
Empty weight: 652 kg (1437 lb)
Gross weight: 1050 kg (2315 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × Regnier 4L00 inline piston-engine, 101 kW (135 hp)

Maximum speed: 280 km/h (174 mph)
Range: 900 km (559 miles)
Service ceiling: 5000 m (16,405 ft)


Saturday, January 14th 2012, 8:52pm

Breguet Br.811 Bretagne

[SIZE=4]Breguet Br.811 Bretagne[/SIZE]
The Br.811 was a modified Br.810 Bretagne mid-sized airliner with a nose-mounted radar and longer range, used for nautical patrolling.

[SIZE=3]General characteristics[/SIZE]
Length: 19.6 m (65 ft 7 in)
Wingspan: 28 m (91 ft 2 in)
Height: 5.90 m (19 ft 4 in)
Wing area: 86.2 m² (927.5 sq ft)
Empty weight: 14,080 kg (31,030 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 20,100 kg (44,600 kg)
Powerplant: 2 × Clerget 16He turbodiesel engine, 2,400 hp each

Maximum speed 590 km/h (366.6mph)
Cruising speed: 422 km/h (229 knots, 263 mph)
Range: 2,000 km (1,242 mi)
Service ceiling: 12,000 m (39,370 ft)


Saturday, January 14th 2012, 8:56pm

Bloch MB.1000 Triton

[SIZE=4]Bloch MB.1000 Triton[/SIZE]

[SIZE=3]General characteristics[/SIZE]
Crew: One
Length: 10.48 m (34 ft 4.5 in)
Wingspan: 9.96 m (32 ft 8 in)
Height: 3.12 m (10 ft 3 in)
Wing area: 14 m² ( ft²)
Empty weight: 3,205 kg (7066 lb)
Loaded weight: 4,560 kg (10,053 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 4,760 kg (10,494 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × Rateau A.60 turbojet, 15.7 kN (1,600 kgf / 3,527.4 lbf)

Maximum speed: 850 km/h (459 knots, 528 mph)
Cruise speed: 760 km/h at 10,000 m (410 knots, 472 mph)
Service ceiling: 11,500 m (37,730 ft)
Rate of climb: 40 m/s (131.2 ft/min)
Takeoff distance: 450m (1,476 ft)

There's a 75% probability that this aircraft will fly SOMETIME in 1942, although if people don't push their jet development plans to unreasonable extremes, I might elect to leave it until 1943. I'm posting it now due to that possibility.


Saturday, January 14th 2012, 9:01pm

Breguet-Nord N.1510 Normandie

[SIZE=4]Breguet-Nord N.1510 Normandie[/SIZE]
The Nord Normandie is a long-distant transport designed to carry cargo and paratroops. Some initial sketches of the Normandie began at Potez in 1936, and after the merger of Potez, CAMS, and ANF Les Mureaux, the project was inherited by Societie Nord. Much of the work from 1937 onward, however, was undertaken by the design staff brought in from CAMS, who adopted the wing design intended for an unbuilt flying boat. This resulted in a particularly strong wing design with high lift and and corrosion resistance. Despite the early start, the project did not receive a high priority until late 1937, when the French armed forces became involved in quashing the Rif-Atlas Revolt. Existing transports proved highly unsatisfactory, and in some cases downright unsafe for paratroop operations, and were insufficient in quantity to meet the French Army's needs. An immediate high-priority request for new aircraft was made, and Society Nord's rapid response met with approval.

Initial studies undertaken in 1938 by the Armee de l'Aire indicated a twin-engine aircraft with a load of twenty-eight paratroopers would be ideal, but Nord's engineers conducted their own survey of French paratroop officers and cargo aircraft pilots, and proposed a larger four-engined aircraft with a load of forty paratroopers. Nord proposed several alterations to the specifications laid out by the Armee de l'Aire, most notably the use of two-wheel tricycle landing gear, a high-mounted wing, a clamshell rear door for loading and unloading cargo, and an emphasis on short-and-rough field performance. The Armee de l'Aire did not immediately approve of Nord's disregard for their design parameters, but reconsidered after reviewing Nord's quarter-scale mockups in March 1939.

A prototype, the N.1500, was prepared and first flew on October 12th, 1940, but flight trials uncovered a number of issues which resulted in a drawn-out testing period. As the landing roll-out proved to be much longer than expected, the wing was modified with leading-edge slats and double-slotted Fowler flaps to improve low-speed lift. A twin rudder replaced the tall single rudder, the fuselage and wings were lengthened, and the main gear was re-situated to provide better balance on the ground. The single clamshell door on the rear end of the aircraft, which could not be opened in flight, was replaced with two powered side-folding clamshell doors which permitted the airdropping of cargo and vehicles. As cargo could be easily airdropped from the new aft door, the wide side door, identified by the Armee de l'Aire as a structural weakness, was replaced with a smaller door for personnel only. The two inboard Gnome-Rhone 14R radial engines were equipped with reversible-pitch propellers, allowing the aircraft to back up without ground-handling equipment. The engines could also be reversed on landing, decreasing the roll-out distance.

The long development time of the Normandie nearly doomed the aircraft on several occasions, as both the Armee de Terre and the Armee de l'Aire were impatient with the project's lengthy gestation time; they had both expected Nord to begin production in late 1940. The Armee de Terre eventually ordered a dozen cargo versions of the Breguet Br.810 Bretagne airliner in 1941 as a stopgap measure. However, the Bretagne could not compete against the Normandie in terms of troops or cargo carried, had significantly less overall range, and could not airdrop significant amounts of cargo as the Normandie could do.

Crew: 4 (pilot, copilot/navigator, radio operator, flight engineer)
Capacity: 45 paratroopers, 60 troops, or 10,150kg (22,377 lbs) of cargo
Length: 28.25 m (92 ft 8 in)
Wingspan: 37.5m (123 ft)
Height: 7.315 m (24 ft 7 in)
Wing Area: 166 m² (1,786.8 ft²)
Empty Weight: 17,800 kg (39,242 lb)
Loaded Weight: 24,416 kg (53,828 lb)
Max Takeoff Weight: 27,725 kg (61,123 lb)
Powerplant: 4 × Gnome-Rhone 14R, 1,750hp each, with 4-blade propellers

Max Speed: 425km/h (264 mph)
Cruise Speed: 380 km/h (236.1 mph )
Range: 4,800km (2,982.6 mi) at 6,000m
Service Ceiling: 7,600 m (25,000 ft)
Rate of Climb: 6.5 m/s (21.3 ft/s)
Max Wingloading: 147 kg/m² (30.125 lb/ft²)

[SIZE=3]Armament[/SIZE] (Some Versions only)
- 1 × 23 mm HS.406 in tail
- 1 × 12.7mm Hotchkiss MG in nose

[SIZE=3]Special Notes[/SIZE]
- Tricycle landing gear
- Rear double-fold clamshell doors permit loading of light vehicles on the ground, and airdropping of vehicles in flight
- Twin tail
- High mounted wings with leading edge slats
- Inward engines have reversible pitch allowing the aircraft to back up on the ground, or reverse power to shorten the landing roll-out.


Saturday, January 14th 2012, 9:02pm

Lioré et Olivier LeO-600 Tornade

[SIZE=4]Lioré et Olivier LeO-600 Tornade[/SIZE]
In the early 1940s, the Armee de l'Aire depended on several different types of medium bombers, mainly the Lioré et Olivier LeO-45 series, but including the Amiot 354, the Farman F.380, and its closely-derivative Hanriot H.250. This range of bombers each had different strengths and weaknesses inherent to the type, and resisted attempts to streamline production. The LeO-45, while technologically the least impressive, received the most production due to its greater simplicity, and if it had higher performance, it would have made an excellent medium bomber for standardization. However, the LeO-45's performance, particularly by 1940 standards, was increasingly lackluster, with speed barely passing five hundred kilometers per hour at full power, and only fifteen hundred kilograms of stores. The competing Hanriot H.250 bomber carried even less payload but compensated somewhat with a much higher speed and high-altitude performance.

Changing policy in the late 1930s and early 1940s focused on the principles of standardization and production costs, and by 1941, the Armee de l'Aire demanded a high-performance medium bomber suitable for mass production, but capable of replacing the LeO-45, the Hanriot H.250, the Amiot 354, and the Farman F.380. As Farman struggled with the F.400 Ourse heavy bomber, and Amiot lacked a talented and well-connected chief designer as well as a high-capacity factory, the task largely fell on Hanriot and Lioré et Olivier. Hanriot offered a modestly improved version of their existing H.250 Foudre, while Lioré et Olivier offered an all-new bomber design dubbed the LeO-600, although the aircraft was billed as a 'major redesign' of the LeO-45.

In many ways, the LeO-600 was not a medium bomber design at all, as Lioré et Olivier designed it to undertake secondary roles as a heavy fighter, night fighter, and reconnaissance aircraft. Lioré et Olivier was reportedly inspired in part by the success of the Petlyakov Pe-2 and Pe-3 as well as the de Havilland Mosquito. Unlike either of those aircraft, however, the LeO-600 featured a pressurized cabin for high-altitude operations, with the crew of three seated closely in the same general vicinity.

Crew: 3 (pilot, navigator-bombardier, radio operator-gunner)
Length: 16.745 m (54 ft 11 in)
Wingspan: 22.1 m (72 ft 6 in)
Height: 4.3 m (14 ft 1 in)
Wing area: 59.4 m² ( ft²)
Empty weight: 11,000 kg (24,250 lb)
Loaded weight: 15,154 kg (33,409 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 15,775 kg (34,778 lb)
Powerplant: 2 × 18-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 2,240hp (1,670.4 kW) each

Maximum speed: 607 kph (377 mph, 328 knots) at 9,150 m (30,000 ft) with external stores; 640 kph (398 mph, 345 knots) with boost
Cruise speed: 475 kph (295 mph, 256 knots)
Range: 3,280 km (2,038 mi, 1771 nmi)
Service ceiling: 11,825 m (38,800 ft)
Rate of climb: 6.15 m/s (1210.6 ft/min)

- 2×23 mm HS.406 cannon in nose
- 2×12.7mm Hotchkiss MG in remote-control tail turret
- 2,400 kg (5,291 lb) bombs


Saturday, January 14th 2012, 10:16pm

Max Holste MH.52

[SIZE=4]Max Holste MH.52[/SIZE]

Crew: 2
Length: 7.25 m (23 ft 9 in)
Wingspan: 9.80 m (32 ft 1¾ in)
Height: 2.18 m (7 ft 1¾ in)
Wing area: 14 m2 (150.7 ft2)
Empty weight: 640 kg (1411 lb)
Gross weight: 870 kg (1918 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × Potez 4D inline piston engine, 112 kW (150 hp)

Maximum speed: 230 km/h (143 mph)
Range: 600 km (373 miles)


Sunday, January 15th 2012, 11:59am

My thoughts:

SH.20 Cigale - hmmm, probably better than was acheived OTL even with the +3 tech, useful but certainly an advanced design. I think perhaps it still remains to be seen just how useful helicopters are to the militaries without real practical use. Certainly as naval scouts they make sense, with increase carrying capacity they make more sense to the military but even so can they replace fixed-wing overland scouts and does carrying 2-4 troops offer a practical assault transport? Time will tell I guess and the SH.20 is a step in the right direction to find out. Tying in Sikorsky's knowledge is a smart move and given FAR's links this gives France a leading edge.

VG.64 Revenant - looks good. What changes have been needed to shoe-horn the nose undercarriage under the engine? It might be a little tight though aircraft like the Me 309 prove its possible to get everything under the cowling.

MB.1050D Milan Royal - looks good. SGM sounds like a smart move.

VB.20 Rafale - looks real sweet. Does it have a pressure-cabin?

Br.900 Massette - looks a beast of a ground-attack aircraft. I like it but maybe a two-seater would have been good just to give some rear protection, it performance though should prove useful to evade fighters.

Norécrin - spot on

Br.811 Bretagne - looks useful. I can see this as a survey type too.

MB.1000 Triton - no comment at this time from me. Specs ok, as you say its wait and see in the jet game.

N.1510 Normandie - looks like a Blackburn Beverley. Useful but big, does France really have the need for such a mass parachute capability in 1942? As a freighter it has large military and civil markets.

LeO-600 Tornade - you know my thoughts on this already. A very useful type.

Max Holste MH.52 - spot on IMHO


Sunday, January 15th 2012, 9:06pm


Originally posted by Hood
SH.20 Cigale - hmmm, probably better than was acheived OTL even with the +3 tech, useful but certainly an advanced design.

The specs are from the Sikorsky H-5. Actually, the specs are worse than the Sikorsky H-5 in speed, range, etc; and it's a bit heavier. The only real way the Cigale exceeds the H-5 specs is that it's got a 600hp engine rather than a 450hp engine.


Originally posted by Hood
I think perhaps it still remains to be seen just how useful helicopters are to the militaries without real practical use. Certainly as naval scouts they make sense, with increase carrying capacity they make more sense to the military but even so can they replace fixed-wing overland scouts and does carrying 2-4 troops offer a practical assault transport? Time will tell I guess and the SH.20 is a step in the right direction to find out. Tying in Sikorsky's knowledge is a smart move and given FAR's links this gives France a leading edge.

Clarification - the Cigale is not designed as an assault transport, be it practical or otherwise. The Cigale is basically designed to supplement (not replace) fixed-wing liaison aircraft for carrying officers around, recovering battlefield casualties, and providing resupply of high-value supplies and equipment to forward positions. (For instance, resupplying a field hospital with spare blood plasma or other medical necessities, or ammunition to a unit that's cut off from easy resupply.) The French experience in Morocco with the Dorand G.II also demonstrated that helicopters are useful when attached to truck convoys, as the spotting ability of the helicopter (and in a few cases, the bullet magnet ability of the helicopter) spoiled a number of ambushes. In naval use, the Cigale will see pretty much the same mission profile. It doesn't have enough range, speed, or altitude to replace floatplanes, but it's more useful for running utility missions around the fleet, or from ship to shore. The French will basically use the Cigale in the exact same roles as they've used their Dorand G.IIs, there will just be more usefulness and fewer crashes.

If I ever develop any interest in using helicopter-borne assault forces, I'd design a bigger helicopter that could have done so, something like the Sikorsky H-19. But I'm completely uninterested in such forces, and I think it's highly unrealistic to even consider inserting troops by helicopter or gyrocopter without serious application of player foresight.


Originally posted by Hood
VB.20 Rafale - looks real sweet. Does it have a pressure-cabin?

I don't believe that the standard variant would have a pressure cabin, no. There might, at some point in the future, be a version developed to have one, but not now.


Originally posted by Hood
Br.900 Massette - looks a beast of a ground-attack aircraft. I like it but maybe a two-seater would have been good just to give some rear protection, it performance though should prove useful to evade fighters.

I'll take a second crewman into consideration.


Originally posted by Hood
N.1510 Normandie - looks like a Blackburn Beverley. Useful but big, does France really have the need for such a mass parachute capability in 1942? As a freighter it has large military and civil markets.

Definitively, yes. The French have had a dedicated parachute regiment since 1936, which was reorganized into a brigade in 1941, with a paper strength just under 6,800 men all total, including miscellaneous equipment such as pack howitzers, supplies, etc. The current French aircraft used by the paratroopers is the entirely unsuitable MB.200, which can't even compete with the C-47 and is only being retained for training purposes.

Looks-wise, in my mind the Normandie doesn't look at all like a Blackburn Beverly. It's not a double-decker, nor is the empennage hanging out aft of the plane on its own little outrigger like the historical Ar232 or the Beverly. Maybe I'll try to draw it sometime to show what I think it ought to look like.