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Loire 130

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Designed in response to a 1933 French Navy requirement for an all-purpose seaplane capable of being catapult-launched, the three-seat Loire 130 prototype first flew in November 1934.

The trials programme was considerably slowed by the need to cure stability problems, and it was August 1936 before production orders were placed for the initial two versions, the Loire 130M (Metropole) and Loire 130C (Colonie) intended for metropolitan and colonial deployment respectively. The 130C being strengthened and equipped for use in tropical climates with a larger radiator. Power was a Hispano-Suiza engine mounted on struts over the hull.

 

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The Loire 130 did not reach French navy escadrilles until 1938. By 1939 it equipped Escadrille 7S2 aboard the seaplane carrier Commandant Teste and 7S3 and 7S4 embarked on various capital ships and cruisers. Overseas the Loire 130 was with 8S2 at Fort-de-France, French Antilles, 8S3 in West Africa, and 8S4 in the Levant (now Lebanon).

In 1939-40 the type went on to equip several newly formed shore-based and shipborne units and also equipped Armee de I'Air units, including 1/CBS in French Indo-China (now Vietnam).
About 95 of the Loire 130s on order had been completed by the time of the June 1940 armistice with the Germans, but permission was given for 30 more of the type to be built under the auspices of the Vichy regime. All being used in the coastal role after the removal of catapults from all French ships in November 1942.

The last Loire 130 in flying condition, with Escadrille 8.S in Indo-China, was withdrawn and scrapped in late 1949.

Engine: 1 x Hispano-Suiza 12Xbrs V-12, 537kW / 720 hp
Max take off weight: 3396 kg / 7487 lb
Loaded weight: 2090 kg / 4608 lb
Wingspan: 16.00 m / 52 ft 6 in
Length: 11.30 m / 37 ft 1 in
Height: 3.85 m / 12 ft 8 in
Wing area: 40.10 sq.m / 431.63 sq ft
Max. speed: 226 km/h / 140 mph
Ceiling: 6000 m / 19700 ft
Operational range: 1100 km / 684 miles
Armament: 2 x 7.5mm Darne machine-guns, 2 x 75kg / 165 lb bombs
Seats: 3

 

 


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