Latécoère Late 521 Lieutenant de Vaisseau Paris / Late 522 / Late 523
The Late 521 was a flying-boat with strut-braced high wings and short stub sponsons. Named Lieutenant de Vaisseau Paris, it was powered by six 641kW Hispano-Suiza 12Ycrs engines (inboard engines mounted as tandem pairs) and flew for the first time on 17 January 1935. A total of 76 passengers could be accommodated on the two decks of the two-step hull. The craft sank in a storm on its inaugural flight to the USA, but was salvaged and rebuilt with 484.4kW Hispano-Suiza 12Nbr engines. It subsequently established seaplane load-over-distance and load-to-height records in 1937.
The Late 522 (powered by six 671kW Hispano-Suiza 12Y37 engines) appeared in April 1937 but World War II prevented a regular transatlantic service. Both the Late 521 and 522 were impressed into French Navy service on 1 September 1939, three naval Late 523 having already been delivered between January and October 1938. These were armed with five 7.5mm Darne machine-guns and carried up to 1,200kg of bombs. Maximum endurance was 33 hours.
The Late 522 returned to passenger service in March 1940. The remaining aircraft of the series performed Atlantic patrols with Escadrilles E6 and E12. One Late 523 had been lost in September 1939, a second was scuttled in June 1940; and the Late 521 was demobilised in August of that year. The surviving Late 523 was grounded in August 1942, having flown with Escadrille 4E out of Dakar since June 1941. The Late 521 and 522 were destroyed at Berre by retreating Germans in August 1944.
Laté 520: [Project] 1930-33, 4 x 1000 hp HS.18 Sbr, engine abandoned
Laté 521: 1935, 6 x 860 hp HS.12Ybrs (2 x tandem pairs, 2 x tractors)
Laté 521 sunk at Pensacola in hurricane, to France for rebuilding
Laté 521: 1937, rebuilt with 6 x 650 hp HS.12Nbr (later to mil.)
Laté 521: 1939, Aéronavale serv., 970 hp HS.12Y-37 then 900 hp '27
Laté 522: 1939, Air France transatlantic serv., 970 hp HS.12Y-37
Laté 522: 1939, Aéronavale, 900 hp HS.12Y-27, then back to '37
Laté 523: 1938, Aéronavale recce vers., 900 hp HS.12Y-27, 3 built
Engines: 6 x HS 12 Ybrs, 630kW
Max take-off weight: 37400 kg / 82453 lb
Empty weight: 21480 kg / 47356 lb
Wingspan: 49.3 m / 161 ft 9 in
Length: 31.6 m / 103 ft 8 in
Wing area: 330.0 sq.m / 3552.09 sq ft
Max. speed: 250 km/h / 155 mph
Cruise speed: 213 km/h / 132 mph
Ceiling: 6300 m / 20650 ft
Range w/max.fuel: 5800 km / 3604 miles