Potez 630

The Potez 630 and its derivatives were a family of twin-engined aircraft developed for the Armée de l'Air in the late 1930s. The design was a contemporary of the British Bristol Blenheim and the German Messerschmitt Bf 110.

The Potez 630's engines proved so troublesome that most units had re-equipped with the Potez 631 before World War two began. The latter was an ineffectual interceptor, slower than some German bombers and 130 km/h slower than the Bf 109E, although it continued in service until the armistice.

The Potez 633 saw only brief operational service with the Armée de l'Air in Europe when aircraft from two units undertook a sortie near Arras on May 20, 1940; two days later the aircraft was withdrawn from front-line service. The Potez 633 exported to Greece and Romania saw more extensive service, in limited numbers. The Romanians used them against the USSR and the Greeks against Italy. A small number of Potez 633 originally destined for China were commandeered by the French colonial administration in Indo-China and saw limited action in the brief French-Thai War in early 1941.

More than 700 Potez 63.11 were delivered by June 1940, of which more than 220 were destroyed or abandoned, despite the addition of extra machine gun armament; the heaviest losses of any French type. The Potez 63.11 continued in service with the Vichy air force and with the Free French forces in North Africa seeing action with both. Production was resumed under German control and significant numbers appear to have been impressed by the Germans, mostly in liaison and training roles.

All members of the family (possibly except the Potez 63.11) shared pleasant flying characteristics. They were well designed for easy maintenance and later models had a heavy armament for the time. They were also quite attractive aircraft. Although not heavily built they proved capable of absorbing considerable battle damage. Unfortunately the Potez 63 family, like many French aircraft of the time, simply did not have sufficiently powerful engines to endow them with an adequate performance. In the stern test of war they proved easy meat for prowling Messerschmitts, like their British contemporaries the Fairey Battle and Bristol Blenheim. Their similarity to the Bf 110 (twin engines, twin tail, long "glasshouse" canopy) was sufficient that some were apparently lost to "friendly fire".

General characteristics
  • Crew: three
  • Length: 10.93 m (35 ft 11 in)
  • Wingspan: 16.00 m (52 ft 6 in)
  • Height: 3.08 m (10 ft 1 in)
  • Wing area: 32.7 m² (352 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 3,135 kg (6,911 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 3,845 kg (8,488 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 4,530 kg (9,987 lb)

  • Maximum speed: 425 km/h (264 mph)
  • Range: 1,500 km (932 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 8,500 m (27,885 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 500 m/m (1,640 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: kg/m² (lb/ft²)

  • 1x fixed, forward-firing 7.5 mm MAC 1934 machine gun
  • 1x fixed, rearward-firing 7.5 mm MAC 1934 machine gun
  • 1x flexible, rearward-firing 7.5 mm MAC 1934 machine gun
  • 4x 50 kg (110 lb) bombs

** Potez 630 - Warbird Fare

Other Warbirds

Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon Delicious Digg More Favorites

Back To Top