The FBA Company was requested to design a successor to the Model 17 in the liaison and training role. The company used the experience gained in the Model 270 and 271 and produced the Model 290. The Model 290 was a biplane amphibian with a single radial engine driving a pusher propeller. It had room for four persons in the forward part of the hull. The Model 290 flew for the first time in April 1931 powered by a 300hp (224kW) Lorraine engine. A further example, the Model 291 was built with a Gnome-Rhône radial engine.
The French Navy was looking for a VIP transport and ordered eight aircraft based on the Model 291 and designated the Model 293 (with a Lorraine engine) and the Model 294 (with a Gnome-Rhône engine). The navy aircraft were used as executive transports and based at the major French naval air stations.