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Breguet Bre.521 Bizerte

Breguet Bre.522 Bizerte




In 1931 Breguet secured a licence to build the Short Calcutta, and this was used as the basis for the company’s Bre.521 submission to meet a 1932 French Navy requirement for a long-range reconnaissance flying-boat.

The Bre.521 was of all-metal construction with stabilising floats strut-mounted under the lower wings, a strut-braced empennage and three tractor engines located between the biplane wings.

The Bre.521.01 prototype flew on 11 September 1933 with 630-kW (845-hp) Gnome-Rhóne l4Kdrs radials, and was followed by three pre-production boats. The second of these introduced refinements intended for the production variant, includng an improved cockpit enclosure and more potent defensive armament. Armament comprised five 7.5mm Darne machine-guns: one in the cupolas each side at the rear of the cabin, one under each of two sliding hatches (with retractable windscreens) staggered to port and starboard amidships, and one in the extreme tail cockpit aft of the tail unit.

Thirty were built up to 1940, powered by three 671kW Gnome-Rhone 14 Kirs radial engines. These served with "Exploration" escadrilles of the French Aeronavale from 1935 until the end of World War II, latterly being used as maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine aircraft. Of these, nine were captured by the Germans and were used during 1943-45 for air-sea rescue.

One ‘boat became the sole Bre.522 when re-engined with 746-kW (1,000-hpl H spano-Suiza l4Aa radial engines.


Bre.521 Bizerte
Engines: 3 x Gnome-Rhône l4Kirs or 14N-11, 671 kW (900 hp).
Wingspan: 35.1-18.9 m / 115 ft 2 in-62 ft 0 in
Wing area: 169.8 sq.m / 1827.71 sq ft
Length: 20.5m (67 ft 3in).
Height: 7.5 m / 24 ft 7 in
Max T/O weight: 16600 kg (36,597 lb).
Empty weight: 8855 kg / 19522 lb
Max speed: 243 km/h / 152 mph at 3,280ft.
Cruise speed: 200 km/h / 124 mph
Ceiling: 6600 m / 21650 ft
Range w/max.fuel: 3000 km / 1864 miles
Range w/max.payload: 2000 km / 1243 miles
Seats: 8
Crew: 5
Armament: 5 x 7.5-mm (0.295-in) Darne mg plus up to 300 kg (661 lb) of bombs.

Engines: 3 x Hispano-Suiza 14Aa, 1000 hp, (746 kW).
Span: 35.15m / 115ft 4in.
Length: 20.5m / 67 ft 3in.
Armament: 5 x 7.5-mm (0.295-in) Darne mg.





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