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Latécoère Late 300 / Late 301 / Late 302

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The Latécoère 300.01 was the company’s first four-engined flying-boat and flew originally in 1931, but sank in the Etang de Berre, near Marseilles, later that year. When salvaged it was re-built and named Croix du Sud (First flight 7 October 1932) with four 650 hp / 484.4kW Hispano-Suiza 12NBr water-cooled engines in tandem pairs. On 31 December 1933 Croix du Sud set up a new international class record by flying the 2,285 miles (3,679 km) from Berre to St Louis (Senegal) in just under 24 hours.
It operated the Air France South Atlantic mail service between Dakar, Senegal and Natal, Brazil. It completed 23 missions before being lost at sea on December 7, 1936. The pilot was the famous French aviator Jean Mermoz.

Three improved Latécoère 301 aircraft with 485-kW (650-hp) Hispano-Suiza l2Nbr engines were built during 1935-6, incorporating changes made to the Late 300 in 1935, including increased wing dihedral and enlarged tail surfaces. The all-metal two-step hull accommodated a four-man crew with sleeping accommodation, mail load and most of the fuel.

The first of the 301s was lost, the remaining two were used in South Atlantic service until 1939. In 1939 the last remaining 301 was converted to military service, joining the 302s in patrol duties in West Africa.

The basic type’s long-range performance attracted the attention of the French Navy, and in 1936 the French naval air service received three examples of the Latecoere 302, a fully navalised version of the Latécoère 301, with 930-hp / 693kW Hispano-Suiza 12Ydrs engines, between 1935 and 1936. They had machine-gun posts in bow and two beam positions, as well as two in the engine nacelles. Bomb load was 300kg. The aircraft supported a crew of four and included sleeping accommodations. Fuel and payload were stored inside the hull.

Late 302 equipped Escadrille E4 at Berre, joined by the last civil but militarised Late 301 in August 1939. These were operated in the patrol role, operating from West Africa together with a single navalised Latécoère 301 until scrapped in 1941.

 

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Laté 300 - 1931 flying boat for Aéropostale (Dakar-Natal), 4 x 650 hp HS.12Ner
Laté 300-01: aground Berre Dec 1931, rebuilt 1932 as Croix-du-Sud
Laté 301: 1934-35 version for Air France, 3 built (2 later to military)
Laté 301 to Aéronavale: 2/1017 for spares, 3/1018 to part Laté 302 std.
Laté 302: 1936 version for Aéronavale, 4 x HS.12Ydrs, 3 built
Laté 302 crew of 8 (inst. of 4), 3 x Darne MGs, 4 x 75 kg bombs

 

Variants:

Laté 300
Mailplane with Hispano-Suiza 12Nbr engines, one built.

Laté 301
Mailplane with Hispano-Suiza 12Nbr engines, three built.

Laté 302
Maritime reconnaissance aircraft with Hispano-Suiza 12Ydrs engines, three built.

 

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Latécoère 300.1
Engines: 4 x Hispano-Suiza 12 Nbr, 750 hp,
Propeller: three-blade.
Wing span: 145 ft 0.25in (44,20 m).
Length: 84 ft 9in (25.83 m).
Wing area: 2.798.6 sq.ft (260 sq.m).
Gross weight: 50,706 lb (23,000 kg).
Max speed: 130 mph (210 kph) at S/L.
Typical range: 2,985 miles (4,800 km).
Crew: 4.
Passenger/mail payload: 2,910 lb (1,320kg).

Latécoère 301


Laté 302
Engines: 4 × Hispano-Suiza 12Ydrs2, 694 kW (930 hp) each
Length: 26.16 m (85 ft 9.5 in)
Wingspan: 44.01 m (144 ft 4.25 in)
Height: 7.98 m (26 ft 2⅛ in)
Wing area: 258 sq.m (2,755.6 sq.ft)
Empty weight: 14,340 kg (31,548 lb)
Loaded weight: 24,050 kg (52,911 lb)
Maximum speed: 240 km/h, 130 knots, 149 mph at 2,000 m (6,560 ft)
Cruise speed: 185 km/h (xx100 knots (190 km/h), 115 mph (185 km/h))
Range: 3,300 km (1,783 nm, 2,050 mi (3,300 km))
Range w/max.fuel: 4800 km / 2983 miles
Service ceiling: 5,000 m (xx16,400 ft (5,000 m))
Wing loading: 93.2 kg/sq.m (19.2 lb/sq.ft)
Power/mass: 0.11 kW/kg (0.070 hp/lb)
Endurance: 20 hours at 150 km/h (93 mph)
Climb to 2,000 m (6,560 ft): 12.5 min
Armament
Guns: 1 7.5 mm (0.3 in) Darne machine gun in bow, 2 firing through beam windows
Bombs: 4 x 75 kg (165 lb) bombs
Crew: 8

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