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Sud-Ouest SO 30 Bellatrix / Bretagne

SO 30 Bretagne

Early in 1941, the Groupe Technique de Cannes initiated the design development of a twin-engined pressurised 23-passenger transport, the SO 30N Bellatrix. Prototype construction was complete by November 1942, but the Italo-German Armistice Commission would not permit flight testing. When, a year later, the line of demarcation between occupied and unoccupied zones of France was abolished, the Bellatrix prototype was hurriedly dismantled and the components distributed in farm outbuildings and barns in the vicinity of Draguignan. After the liberation of the area, the components were recovered and returned to the factory where the aircraft was reassembled and, registered F-BALY, flown for the first time on 26 February 1945. In the meantime, design development had been continuing and a 30-passenger version evolved, this, the SO 30R having 1,650 hp Gnome-Rhóne 14R engines in place of the 1,180 hp G-R14Ns and wing area increased from 775 sq ft (72,00 sq.m) to 88264 sq ft (82,00 sq.m). Two prototypes of this version were built, the SO 30R-01 (F-WAYA) with a single fin-and-rudder assembly and which flew on 6 November 1945, and the SO 30R-02 (F--WAYB) with twin fins and rudders.



Various changes were subsequently in­corporated in the design in order to conform with ICAO requirements and Air France recommendations, and the design was still further scaled-up, and a production prototype powered by 1,620 hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800-B43 engines and designated SO 30P Bretagne was flown on 11 December 1947. Production was initiated, and with the 10th aircraft (F-­WAYL), flown in September 1949, the -B43 engines gave place to R-2800-CA18s rated at 1,800 hp and developing 2,435 hp with water injection. Internal layouts provided accom­modation for 30 or 37 passengers, and the 12th production aircraft (F-WAYO) was later converted as the all-cargo SO 30C with under-fuselage loading doors, trials with this variant commencing on 6 January 1950. Forty-five SO 30P Bretagnes were built, of which 19 went to the Aéronavale and others subsequently to the Armée de lAir. The 24th production example was delivered as a personal transport for the then President of France, eight were used by Air Algêrie, 12 by Air Atlas-Air Maroc (and its successor, Air Maroc), six by Aigle Azur and at least seven by Société des Transports Aèriens de l’Extréme Orient (COSARA).
The SO 30R-02 was eventually modified as a test-bed for Hispano-Suiza-built Rolls–Royce 101 Nene turbojets, this being fitted with a new single fin-and-rudder tail assembly and flown in this form on 15 March 1951, and the second SO 30P (F-WAYD) underwent similar modification for use as a test-bed for the SNECMA Atar 101.


SO 30P Bretagne
Engines: 2 x 1620hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800-B43 Double Wasp 14-cylinder radial
Max take-off weight: 18900 kg / 41668 lb
Wingspan: 26.89 m / 88 ft 3 in
Length: 18.95 m / 62 ft 2 in
Height: 5.89 m / 19 ft 4 in
Max. speed: 416 km/h / 258 mph
Ceiling: 6500 m / 21350 ft
Range: 1500 km / 932 miles
Crew: 2
Passengers: 30-37

SO 30P
Engines: 2 x R-2800-CA18 Double Wasp, 1620 hp
Empty equipped weight: 29,762 lb (13 500 kg)
Loaded weight: 42,990 lb (19 500 kg)
Maximum speed: 303 mph (488 km/h) at 18,045 ft (5 500 m)
Cruise: 272 mph (438 km/h) at 17,390 ft (5 300 m)
Ranges with full reserves: 850 mls (1370 km) with a 7,275-lb (3 300-kg) payload
Ranges with full reserves: 310 mls (500 km) with 9,259-lb (4200-kg) payload
Wing span: 88 ft 3 in (26,90 m)
Length: 62 ft 2in (18,95 m)
Wing area: 925.69 sq ft (86,00sq.m)
Pax cap: 35



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