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1

Thursday, July 4th 2013, 3:28am

Aircraft of the Aeronavale

Fighter Aircraft
Bloch MB.1050 and MB.1050D Milan naval fighter
Latécoère Trombe jet flying-boat fighter

Strike Aircraft
Breguet-Nord Br.890 Épaulard dive bomber
Latécoère Late-550 Épaulard torpedo bomber
Breguet-Nord Br.930 Pêcheur antisubmarine aircraft
Morane-Saulnier MS.662 Aquilon strike bomber

Transport Aircraft
Breguet-Nord Br.931 Charretier cargo aircraft

Maritime Patrol Aircraft
Breguet-Nord Br.932 Longue-Vue electronic reconnaissance aircraft
Breguet-Nord N.1600 Noroit reconnaissance flying boat
Lioré-et-Olivier LeO 400 scout-observation seaplane
Dornier Do330 Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft

Miscellaneous Aircraft
Societe Francaise Du Gyroplane SH.20 Cigale utility helicopter

Training Aircraft
Morane-Saulnier M.S.474 Vanneau advanced training aircraft
Morane-Saulnier MS.661 Aquilon strike bomber

2

Thursday, July 4th 2013, 3:28am


Image by Claveworks (click to see full detailed view).

The Bloch MB.1050 Milan is a carrier-based fighter aircraft designed for service by the Aeronavale. The Milan was a development of Bloch's earlier radial-engined fighters, such as the MB.152 and MB.155, and was developed between 1937 and 1940, concurrently to but separately from the Bloch MB.157. Bloch and his design team developed the Milan to be one of the preeminent naval fighter planes in the world, and made every attempt to design a high-performance, rugged, reliable, long-ranged plane. At the time they entered service, the MB.1050 was the fastest carrier fighter in the world, and later versions maintained comparable performance figures to other carrier aircraft.

Quoted

Bloch MB.1050 Milan ("Kite") carrier fighter
Preproduction Aircraft

Specifications
Wingspan: 12.0m (39.4 feet)
Length: 10.4m (34 feet)
Height: 4.5m (14.8 feet)
Wing Area: 27.5 m² (296 ft²)
Empty Weight: 3,698.5 kg (8,154 lbs)
Loaded Weight: 5,034 kg (11099 lbs)
Max Takeoff Weight: 6,431.5 kg (14,181 lbs)
Engine: 1 × Gnome-Rhone Mistral Titan 18k (1,850hp / 1,379.5 kW takeoff)
Crew: 1 (pilot)

Performance
Max speed: 650 kph (403.9 mph)
Cruising speed: 563 kph (350 mph)
Combat Range: 1,327 km (825 miles)
Service ceiling: 10,900 m (35,800 ft)
Rate of climb: 15.9 mps (3129.6 fpm)

Quoted

Bloch MB.1050 Milan ("Kite") carrier fighter
Production Aircraft

Specifications
Wingspan: 12.0m (39.4 feet)
Length: 10.4m (34 feet)
Height: 4.5m (14.8 feet)
Wing Area: 27.5 m² (296 ft²)
Empty Weight: 3,698.5 kg (8,154 lbs)
Loaded Weight: 5,034 kg (11099 lbs)
Max Takeoff Weight: 6,431.5 kg (14,181 lbs)
Engine: 1 × Gnome-Rhone Mistral Titan 18k (2,240hp / 1,670.4 kW takeoff) with Turbomeca two-stage supercharger
Crew: 1 (pilot)

Performance
Max speed: 685 kph (370 knots / 425.6 mph)
Cruising speed: 563 kph (350 mph)
Combat Range: 1,327 km (825 miles)
Service ceiling: 10,900 m (35,800 ft)
Rate of climb: 15.9 mps (3129.6 fpm)
Wing Loading: 183 kg/m² (37.5 lb/ft²)
Power to Weight Ratio: 0.332 kW/kg (0.202 hp/lb)

Armament
- 4 × 20 mm cannon in wings with 925 rounds
- 2 × 750lb (340 kg) bombs

Variants
- MB.1050: Standard carrier-based fighter (1941)
- MB.1050CN "Milan Noir": Carrier-based night-fighter variant of the MB.1050, equipped with SDA-5B air-intercept radar in small wing-pod
- MB.1051: Version with non-folding wings proposed for Armee de l'Aire.


Quoted

Bloch MB.1050D Milan Royal ("Red Kite") carrier fighter
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.

Specifications
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)

Performance
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)

Armament
- 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

Variants

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

3

Thursday, July 4th 2013, 3:31am

Breguet-Nord Br.890 Épaulard ("Killer Whale") dive bomber
Breguet developed the Br.890 jointly with Latécoère, designing a common naval bomber airframe, with each company then using the common base to design a dive bomber (Breguet) or a torpedo bomber (Latécoère). The Breguet Br.890 has a "tail stinger" behind the tail with X-shaped dive brakes (secondary brakes are on the wings). To maintain the aircraft's overall balance, the nose was lengthened slightly. Unusually, the Épaulard is designed with tricycle gear, and the nosewheel strut is strengthened and designed for use with a deck catapult.

Specifications
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: 5,000 kg (11,023 lbs)
Max Takeoff Weight: 7,950 kg (17,527 lbs)
Engine: 1 × Gnome et Rhône Mistral Titan 18k (2,240hp takeoff)
Crew: 2-3 (pilot, turret gunner and radioman/bombardier)

Performance
Max speed: 475 kph (295.15 mph)
Cruise speed: 325 kph (201.9 mph)
Range: 2,053.5 km (1,276 miles)
Service ceiling: 8,575 m (28,133 ft)
Rate of climb: 8.75 mps (17.22 fpm)

Armament
- 2 × 0.50 mm MGs in turret
- 2 × 0.50 mm MGs in wings (deleted in later models)
- 1 × 900kg (1,984 lb) bombs

Variants
Breguet Br.890T Épaulard ("Killer Whale") carrier based transport aircraft
The Br.890T was a quick modification of the original Breguet Épaulard redesigned internally to carry one pilot and six passengers or cargo. The "tail stinger" dive brakes and the weapons bay were removed, although the plane's lengthened nose and fuselage was maintained.

Breguet-Nord Br.891 Épaulard ("Killer Whale") carrier based SDAC aircraft
The Br.891 variant was first deployed in late 1941 to carry the SDA-5B radar in an underwing pod. The navigator doubled as a radar operator, and could use the radar to detect low-flying aircraft formations, or surface ships. Many Br.891 versions were simply modified Br.890s,

Breguet-Nord Br.892 Épaulard ("Killer Whale") carrier based patrol aircraft
Fielded in 1942, the Br.892 version of the Épaulard replaced the dive brakes in the "tail stinger" with a magnetic anomaly detector array to be operated by the weapons officer. After 1943, FH hydroacoustic floats were added to the Br.892bis model.

4

Thursday, July 4th 2013, 3:31am

Latécoère Late-550 Épaulard ("Killer Whale") torpedo bomber
Latécoère developed the Late-550 jointly with Breguet, designing a common naval bomber airframe, with each company then using the common base to design a dive bomber (Breguet) or a torpedo bomber (Latécoère). The Late-550, designed to carry a torpedo, lacked the distinctive "tail stinger" dive brakes of the Breguet, and was therefore a shorter and slightly beefier-looking aircraft. Unusually, the Épaulard is designed with tricycle gear, and the nosewheel strut is strengthened and designed for use with a deck catapult.

Specifications
Wingspan: 14.5 m (47.6 feet)
Length: 13.2 m (43.3 feet)
Height: 4.85 m (15.9 feet)
Wing Area: 38 m² (409 ft²)
Empty weight: 4,950 kg (10,913 lbs)
Max Takeoff Weight: 7,950 kg (17,527 lbs)
Engine: 1 × Gnome et Rhône Mistral Titan 18k (2,240hp takeoff)
Crew: 2-3 (pilot, turret gunner and radioman/bombardier)

Performance
Max speed: 475 kph (295.15 mph)
Cruise speed: 325 kph (201.9 mph)
Range: 2,053.5 km (1,276 miles)
Service ceiling: 8,575 m (28,133 ft)
Rate of climb: 8.75 mps (17.22 fpm)

Armament
- 2 × 0.50 mm MGs in turret
- 2 × 0.50 mm MGs in wings (deleted in later models)
- 1 × 900kg (1,984 lb) bombs or torpedoes

5

Sunday, May 18th 2014, 4:07am

Breguet-Nord Br.930 Pêcheur / Charretier / Longue-vue

General characteristics
Crew: Three
Length: 11.46 m (37 ft 7 in)
Wingspan: 18.745 m (61 ft 6 in)
Height: 4.26 m (13 ft 11 in)
Wing area: 37.13 m² ( ft²)
Empty weight: 5992.5 kg
Loaded weight: 8025 kg
Max takeoff weight: 8680 kg ( lb)
Powerplant: 2 × Gnome Rhone 14R, 1,612hp each at takeoff (1,890hp with boost)

Performance
Maximum speed: 470 km/h (254 knots, 292 mph)
Range: 1,760 km (1,093 miles)
Service ceiling: 7,600 m (24,935 ft)
Rate of climb: 8.5 m/s (1,673 ft/min)

Armament
- 1,400 kg stores (Pêcheur only)
- 1 × 12.7mm rear machine-gun (Pêcheur only)

Variants
- Br.930 Pêcheur: Anti-submarine and naval attack aircraft with armament. The Br.930A carries radar, MAD, and sonobuoys, while the Br.930B carries weapons. They are deployed in pairs.
- Br.931 Charretier: Cargo aircraft.
- Br.932 Longue-Vue: Dedicated surface-search reconnaissance aircraft.

6

Thursday, June 2nd 2016, 3:23pm

Morane-Saulnier MS.660 Aquilon Chasseur-Bombardier
The MS.660 Aquilon was first envisioned in 1944 by Moraine-Saulnier as a rugged two-seat multipurpose aircraft for overseas or naval operations, primarily for use from rougher and shorter runways found in places such as Algeria or Indochina. In its basic format, the Aquilon was a light attack aircraft that could be configured for air superiority or pilot training. Several configurations were evaluated before design work started, including variants with one or two engines, and one or two crewmen. The project team eventually determined, following consultation with the Armee de l'Aire and the Aeronavale, to pursue a twin-engine aircraft with two crewmen. Extensive consultations also occurred with Moraine-Saulnier's Swiss partner EKW, and Greek associate firm KEA, with the Swiss and Greek air forces identified as potential export customers by way of license-manufacturing.

The crewmen were placed side by side in a cockpit with a two-piece canopy, with the pilot on the left and the navigator/electronics officer on the right. The cockpit could be reconfigured with dual flight controls for both stations, permitting the aircraft to be used as an advanced trainer. The Aquilon had a fairly straight wing with the leading edge swept at nine degrees. Tricycle landing gear was equipped with double wheels and reinforced shock struts, permitting operation from rougher airfields.

The Aquilon was billed as a "fighter-bomber", but performance was sluggish when compared to dedicated fighter aircraft of the same generation. While the aircraft could excel in a high-energy engagement against propeller-driven fighters, its climb, lower top speed, and turning rate put it at a disadvantage against single-engine jet fighters like the Dassault MD.450 Ouragan. However, the Aquilon had excellent handling at lower speeds. Most operators, including the Armee de l'Aire, preferred to equip their Aquilons either as dedicated light attack aircraft or as 'strike-ready' advanced trainers.

The first MS.660 prototype flew in late the July of 1945 and was accepted for service in the Armee de l'Air in April of 1946, although production took several months to get underway. In May of 1946, the Aeronavale received the MS.662 prototype, which was equipped with folding wings and an arrestor hook for use aboard aircraft carriers. Regular operation in squadron service, however, did not occur until mid-1947.

Specifications
General characteristics
Crew: Two (pilot, navigator/electronics operator)
Length: 13.25 m (43.5 ft)
Wingspan: 12.6 m (41.3 ft)
Height: 3.9 m (12.8 ft)
Wing area: 45.9 m²
Empty weight: 5,380 kg
Loaded weight: 7,325 kg
Max takeoff weight: 8,000 kg
Powerplant: 2 × SNECMA M-44 turbojets, 8.8 kN (1980 lbf)

Performance
Never exceed speed: Mach 0.80
Maximum speed: 772 km/h (416 knots, 479 mph) (Mach 0.63) at sea level
Cruise speed: 657 km/h (354 knots, 408 mph)
Range: 1,950 km (1,212 mi) with best load
Ferry range: 2,750 km (1,709 mi)
Service ceiling: 12,250 m (40,190 ft)
Rate of climb: 20 m/s (ft/min)

Armament
- 1 × 30 mm DEFA revolver cannon with 125 rounds
- Up to 2,250 kg (4,960 lb) of payload on four external underwing hardpoints (2x250kg + 2x500kg) plus one centerline hardpoint (max 750kg)

Variants
- MS.660: Early production aircraft, configured as a light strike aircraft.
- MS.660bis: Version built from 1948 onward, with ejection seats, Picot-Baudry canopy, new radar, and M44 K-20 turbojets.
- MS.661: Dual-control advanced training aircraft.
- MS.662: Navalized strike variant with folding wings and arrestor hook.
- EKW D.3901: Swiss derivative of the MS.660 and MS.661, built by EKW in Thun.

7

Monday, March 20th 2017, 6:39pm

Societe Francaise Du Gyroplane SH.20 Cigale
Although the Roth-Dorand GII.A had decent performance for a helicopter of its generation, and delivered acceptable service, the type was never fully satisfactory, particularly in its maintenance and accident history. SFG, in collaboration with their Atlantean and Russian counterparts, worked to develop a new type with more utility and safety.

General characteristics:
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

Performance:
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: 3,500m (SH.20); 3,900 (SH.22)

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

Variants:
- 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.22M: 4-seat variant for Navy utility (1943)
- SH.23-25: Reserved for possible export variants
- SH.26: 3-seat civilian helicopter (1944) based on SH.21
- SH.29: Turboshaft engine testbed (1946)

8

Monday, March 20th 2017, 6:45pm

Morane-Saulnier M.S.474 Vanneau ("Plover") naval training aircraft
The Aeronavale uses a particular variant of the Vanneau, the MS.474, which is equipped for aircraft carrier operations. The MS.474 uses the same Gnome et Rhône 14M radial engine as the MS.472. Other relevant additions are the use of an arresting hook, a strengthened tail section, and folding wings. Overall weight slightly increased over the standard aircraft.

Statistics
- Crew: 2 (trainee pilot + instructor)
- Length: 9.05 m (30 ft 8 in)
- Wingspan: 10.65 m (35 ft 11 in)
- Height: 3.62 m (12 ft 11 in)
- Wing area: 17.30 m² (186.22 ft²)
- Empty weight: 2,351 kg (5,183 lb)
- Max Takeoff Weight: 3,125 kg (6,889 lb)
- Powerplant: 1× Gnome et Rhône 14M radial (522kW / 700HP) OR Hispano-Suiza 12Y-45 V-12 piston engine, 641 kW (860 hp)
- Armament: 2x.30cal MG (wings) for target training, 5lb or 10lb underwing smoke bombs for training

Performance
- Maximum speed: 445 km/h (277 mph)
- Max Range: 1500 km (932 miles)
- Service ceiling: 8500 m (27,900 ft)
- Rate of climb: Not available

Armamant
- 2 x MAC 1934 7.5mm wing-mounted machine-guns
- Light bombs

Variants
- MS.470: Original variant
- MS.472: Production variant equipped with Gnome-Rhone 14M-05 radial engine.
- MS.474: MS.472 variant equipped for aircraft carrier operations.
- MS.475: Version powered by Hispano-Suiza 12Y-45 inline engine.

9

Monday, March 20th 2017, 6:49pm

Lioré-et-Olivier LeO 400 scout-observation seaplane
The LeO 400 was developed to replace earlier shipborne floatplanes such as the Loire 130, the Breguet Br790 Nautilus, and the Latécoère Late-298 floatplane. The LeO 400 design emphasized a balance of compact size, decent range, good speed, and good visibility.

Specifications
Wingspan: 12.65m (41.5 feet)
Length: 10.915m (35.8 feet)
Height: 5.1m (16.8 feet)
Wing Area: 27.5 m² (296 ft²)
Empty weight: 2,905.5 kg (6,394 lbs)
Max Takeoff Weight: 4,317.5 kg (9,498.5 lbs)
Engine: 1 × Gnome et Rhône 14R (1590hp takeoff)
Crew: 2 (pilot, gunner-observer)

Performance
Max speed: 471.5 kph (292.8 mph)
Cruising speed: 210 kph (130.4 mph)
Maximum Range: 1,765 km (1,096 miles)
Service ceiling: 10,700 m (35,096 ft)

Armament
- 2 × 7.5 mm MAC 1931 with 600 rounds in the nose of the aircraft
- 2 × 7.5 mm MAC 1931 with 525 rounds per drum
- 2 × 100kg bombs, 4x50kg bombs, or 6x25kg bombs (six mounting points)

Notes
Entered service February 1941.

80 ordered by the Aeronavale in 1941
40 ordered by the Greek Navy in 1941
60 ordered by the Romanian Navy in 1941

10

Monday, March 20th 2017, 6:50pm

Breguet-Nord N.1600 Noroit
Reconnaissance flying boat. Can be equipped for antisubmarine warfare with the addition of a magnetic anomaly detector and FH hydro-acoustic floats.

Specifications
Crew: 7
Length: 22.05 m (74 ft 4 in)
Wingspan: 31.60 m (103 ft 8 in)
Height: 6.85 m (22 ft 5½ in)
Wing Area: 100 m² (1076.43 ft²)
Empty Weight: 11,400 kg (25,132 lb)
Loaded Weight: 21,000 kg (46,297 lb)
Powerplant: 2 × Gnome et Rhône Mistral Titan 18k (2,240hp takeoff), with 4-blade propellers (or others as requested)

Performance
Max Speed: 370 km/h (230 mph)
Cruise Speed: 300 km/h (186 mph)
Range: 3450 km (2144 miles)
Service Ceiling: 7,600 m (25,000 ft)
Rate of Climb: 6.5 m/s (21.3 ft/s)
Max Wingloading: 210 kg/m² (43 lb/ft²)

Armament
- 6 x 20mm cannon (two each in nose, dorsal and tail turrets)
- 1,800 kg (4,000 lb) of bombs, depth charges, or 2 × torpedoes

11

Monday, March 20th 2017, 6:52pm

Dornier Do330 Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft



Technical Description (German Edition)
Mid wing cantilever monoplane in three portions, comprising a rectangular centre-section built integral with the fuselage and two tapering outer sections. Wing is designed to give temporary flotation in event of ditching. Structure of light metal consisting of two spars and the usual number of ribs, the whole covered with a stressed skin of smooth duralumin sheet. All-metal ailerons, each incorporating a spring and trim tab. Fowler type all metal in-board and out-board trailing edge flaps. All metal two section spoilers in upper surface of outer wing panels inboard of ailerons. Thermal de-icing of leading edges.

Fuselage of conventional unpressurised semi-monocoque construction. Main structure is built up of a number of formers and stringers to which the stressed skin is riveted.

Cantilever all-metal tail unit. Spring tab and trim tab in rudder, balance tab and spring tab in each elevator. Tail unit has thermal de-icing of all leading edges.

Retractable tricycle-type undercarriage with single steerable nosewheel and twin-wheel main units. Hydraulic retraction, nosewheel rearward, main wheels forward into engine nacelles.

Two Bramo 328F eighteen-cylinder radial engines each rated for 3,200 hp at takeoff. Three-bladed VDM controllable pitch full-feathering airscrews. Self-sealing fuel tanks in wings. Oil tanks in engine nacelles behind engines.

Crew of eight. The station for one wireless operator/air gunner is located in the nose of the aircraft; cockpit for the pilot and observer follows; the flight engineer’s station is located behind and below the cockpit, with the navigator. Two stations are provided for electronic equipment operators while a final station is provided in the rear of the aircraft for the second wireless operator/air gunner. Two twin 15mm MG151 machineguns with 250 rounds per gun located in the forward gunner’s position and two similar weapons in the tail gunner’s position. Internal bomb cell for up to 4,000 kg of free-fall bombs, depth charges, torpedoes or other ordnance. External mounts for additional ordnance or auxiliary fuel tanks. Equipment includes long and short wave transmitting and receiving sets, direction-finding loop, blind approach receiver and airborne electronic detection equipment.

Technical Description (French Edition)
France ordered a significant quantity of Dornier Do330s in order to equip several surveillance squadrons of the Aeronavale. No significant changes were made to the airframe itself. Serious consideration was given to replacing the Bramo engines with a French-sourced alternative, but the Aeronavale eventually decided to stick with the original engines.

The greatest difference came in the electronics, which were entirely of French design and manufacture, and included the SDA-8 Vexin radio-teledetector set in a small fiberglass-covered ventral dome.

General characteristics
Crew:
Length: 26 m
Wingspan: 34.7 m
Height: 8.0 m
Wing area: 122 m²
Empty weight: 15,900 kg ( lb)
Max takeoff weight: 29,000 kg (, lb)
Powerplant: 2 × Bramo 328F R-18 engines, 3,200hp (takeoff)

Performance
Maximum speed: 515 km/h ( knots, mph)
Cruising speed: 286 km/h
Combat radius: 4,800 km
Service ceiling: ?
Rate of climb: ?

Armament
Guns:
---- 2 × 13.2mm Hotchkiss MG (nose)
---- 2 × 13.2mm Hotchkiss MG (tail)
Up to 4,000 kg of bombs, depth charges, torpedoes, or other

12

Monday, March 20th 2017, 7:03pm

Latécoère Trombe Jet Flying-Boat Fighter

History
The Latécoère Trombe ("Waterspout") entered development in February 1943 as a private project commissioned by the Latécoère company, on the basis of speculation within the French Navy at the time. A small group of French naval aviators voiced concerns about whether or not the current classes of aircraft carriers in the Marine Nationale could handle projected jet fighters and bombers. The greatest concerns evolved around the question of whether or not the long take-off and landing runs of the early turbojet aircraft would make current carriers outdated. Conventional wisdom within the Aeronavale determined that the Bucentaure and Vengeur class carriers would have sufficient length and beam to operate jet fighters. However, a minority of aviators disagreed, and considered options for putting jet aircraft into naval service in the event the current generation of carriers proved incapable.

Research progressed along two separate lines of development. The first, which proved to be a technological dead-end, focused on developing a jet aircraft that launched vertically from a tail-sitting position, and then landed in exactly the same way. Proponents of this idea believed that this method would allow extremely rapid launches of large strike wings from relatively small flight decks. However, little progress was made and no major aircraft manufacturers demonstrated an interest in starting a design project in light of the engineering hurdles to be overcome, particularly when the mainstream decision-makers in the Aeronavale were derisive of the idea. Nevertheless, several drawing proposals were circulated both for aircraft and ships designed to carry them (including an ambitious five-thousand ton "convoy escort-carrier" intended to carry twelve vertical-launched fighter interceptors).

The second and more conventional line of development focused on the development of a turbojet-powered flying boat, similar in theory to the floatplane fighters and bombers popularized in French service during the 1920s and 1930s. As a flying boat could take off and land from the surface of the ocean, minimum takeoff distances no longer became a consideration. Floatplane tenders already existed and could be constructed for less cost than a fleet carrier, and flying boats could be used from almost any sheltered lagoon or harbor. These ideas required relatively little in the way of new technology, and in February 1943 the Latécoère company determined to pursue a development project using their existing expertise in floatplanes and flying boats.

Despite lacking any experience whatsoever with turbjojets, Latécoère's designers moved ahead quickly to develop a prototype for review by the Aeronavale. Latécoère's emphasis lay in a mix of speed (which the Aeronavale wanted) and range (which Latécoère's designers felt was more desireable). By July 1944, Latécoère unveiled a quarter-scale mockup for the Aeronavale, which signed a contract to continue funding development and construct two aircraft prior to April 1945 for testing.

Latécoère's design followed several interesting directions. The Trombe's flying-boat body was designed for relative minimalism, being deep and narrow. The pilot sat far forward, in a position with excellent visibility, while the single axial turbojet was located in a pod mounted on the aircraft's back, in order to keep both the inlet and nozzle clear of spray during landing. This quickly gained the Trombe the nickname "the Hunchback of Biscarosse". The engine exhausted between the 50-degree V-tail. While on the surface, a pair of shaped fiberglass outriggers, normally flush inside the fuselage, automatically folded down in order to increase bouyancy and stability. The wingtips each had a small pod which contained an inflatable rubber bladder, designed to keep the wingtips from dipping too far into the water. During takeoff, the bladders would deflate and retract back into the pods to reduce drag. Armament was decidedly minimalistic, consisting solely of a pair of DEFA 23mm cannons located in the wing-roots, with shell ejector ports located under the wing (in order to keep spent cartridges away from the engine inlet).

Starting in August of 1944, Latécoère began construction of the two initial test aircraft, the first of which was completed in February 1945, while the second was completed in April. However, neither aircraft flew until May; the initial turbojet engine delivered to Latécoère was damaged in transit, and no spare was provided for three months. When an engine finally became available in April, it was not the Gnome-Rhone TRAC-1C Curtana engine originally designed for, but a significantly more-powerful and centrifugal-flow Rateau-Anxionnaz A.63. Hasty alterations were made to the airframes and the first aircraft flew in late May. Although the larger engine slightly unbalanced the aircraft's center of gravity, the excess power and better fuel economy proved vital in nearly achieving the Trombe's stated design objectives (namely a speed of four hundred knots and a range of eight hundred kilometers).

The Aeronavale was not deeply impressed with the Trombe. By 1945, more experts in the Aeronavale were confident that the upcoming generation of jets could in fact operate from the large French fleet carriers. Despite this, no serious opposition to the "hydravion jet" concept formed, and a limited production run started in late 1945. Most of the aircraft produced were assigned to land-based squadrons deployed in Nouvelle-Calédonie, Fidji, and Polynesia.

General characteristics
Crew:
Length: 12.15 m
Wingspan: 10.6 m
Height: 3.9 m
Wing area: 24.9 m²
Empty weight: 3,384 kg (7,460 lb)
Loaded weight: 5,036 kg (11,102 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 5,500 kg (12,125 lb)
Powerplant:
- Initial Proposal: 1 × Gnome-Rhone Curtana TRAC-1C axial turbojet 9 kN (918 kgf / 2,023 lbf thrust)
- Testbeds / Production: 1 × Rateau-Anxionnaz A.63 turbojet, 17.5 kN (1,784 kgf / 3,934 lbf)

Performance
Maximum speed: 725 km/h (391 knots, 450 mph)
Combat radius: 950 km
Ferry range: 1550 km
Service ceiling: 9,000 m
Rate of climb: 18.3 m/s

Armament
Guns: 2 × 23 mm DEFA cannon with 125 rounds per gun