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Latécoère Laté 299


The design of Latécoère 299 was started on March 8, 1937, when the Marine Ministry of France approved a general program for the renewal of the aircraft fleet.
Among other specifications, an assignment was made for the design of SB aircraft (observer-bomber). The specification was for a single-engine seaplane weighing up to 3,500 kg, a double seaplane weighing up to 1600 kg and a twin-engine aircraft with a folding wing for the carrier "Bearn". There are several tasks at once: planes must be reconaisance, spotting enemy submarines, dive bombing or torpedo attack, and also covered by friendly vessels with smoke. the max speed should be at least 300 km \ h.
In May 1936, Socièté Industrielle d'Aviation Latécoère successfully tested the Latecoere 298 floatplane. In some parameters, such as the speed, it did not fit into the requirements, but otherwise it was quite suitable for completion of the category SB.
In December 1937 the ministry issued an updated specification, which indicated a speed of 400 km / h, and the folding and unfolding time of the wing should not exceed 3 minutes. In such parameters Latecoere 298 clearly did not fit, so it was necessary to refine the fuselage, tail and wing, and also had to provide for the installation of a more powerful 920 hp HS.12Y-27 motor. In June 1938, the layout of Latecoere 298 was revised accordingly and presented by the evaluation commission. The new aircraft, switched to the usual wheeled undercarriage, was named Latecoere 299. The preliminary design was liked by the higher ranks of naval aviation, especially as it was developed on the basis of the already serial torpedo carrier. The first order for two prototypes was received on July 5, 1938, with the final delivery date no later than July 5 of the following year.
Both prototypes were built and successfully passed tests. The only thing that does not succeed was the maximum design speed. The mass production of the Latecoere 299 was prevented by the capitulation of France. Further development of this aircraft was considered a secondary task and all work on it in July 1940 was stopped. Two Latecoere 299 remained standing in the hangar, and slowly parts were removed for other aircraft.
In the autumn of 1940, work was resumed on the design and construction of a twin-engine fighter Arsenal VB.10 with a tandem arrangement of motors. A few months earlier, the Ministry of Aviation had signed a contract for the construction of 30 serial aircraft, although they had not even begun to build a prototype. This fighter was designed by designers Vernis and Gatier and had very promising characteristics, so VB.10 fell into the category of priority developments. If now there was nowhere to hurry, Verniss "bargained" from the DTI (Office of Advanced Technology) both Latecoere 299 prototypes, the Laté 299-01 and Laté 299-02, both with 970 hp HS.12Y-43 engines.
It was not difficult to do this, as these planes suddenly turned out to be unclaimed. Verniss suggested using them to develop the installation of tandem HS 12Z motors, connected by an Arsenal 200 transmission system and rotating in opposite directions, two coaxial props with a diameter of 3.2 meters. Because of this, the single-seat cockpit was moved closer to the tail. Because of this, it was necessary to make the cabin single and move it closer to the tail, but in the rear part there was a place for a mechanic who could regulate the operation of the power plant.
Reconstruction of the aircraft began in 1942 and after processing it received the new designation Latecoere 299A. When the aircraft was almost ready for testing, it turned out that it was not realistic to get the HS 12Z engines in the near future, and instead of them the less powerful but quite affordable HS 12Y-31 (800 hp) were installed.
Complete occupation of the country prevented the completion of the matter, but Verniss managed by some miracle to convince the Germans to continue building prototypes, which was done in 1943. As a result of delays, the Latecoere 299A was rolled out onto the take-off field only in April 1944, after two months of preliminary static tests. He never rose into the air. The German pilots at the Bron airbase took several runs on it, ending in capotation with damage to the nose of the fuselage. Latecoere 299A was again sent for repair, where he waited for a raid of allied aircraft. On April 30, 1944, this aircraft burned down in a hangar, leaving Verniss without a test bench.
Late 299
Engine: Hispano-Suiza 12 Y-43, 920 hp
Wing span: 15.64 m
Wing area: 34.60 sq.m
Length: 12.28 m
Height: 4.46 m
Empty weight: 3170 kg
Normal takeoff weight: 4650 kg
Maximum speed: 345 km / h
Cruising speed: 275 km / h
Range: 900 km
Rate of climb: 348 m / min
Ceiling: 6600 m
Crew: 3
Armament: two stationary and one manual 7.5 mm Darne mg
Bombload: up to 900 kg
Laté 299A








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