Designed by Louis Coroller, the Potez 56 was a cantilever low-wing monoplane of mainly wood construction. It has a single fin and rudder, and was powered by two Potez 9Ab radial engines. It had a retractable conventional landing gear, and room for a crew of two and six passengers. The prototype first flew on 18 June 1934, and production commenced for the civil market. The military soon became interested in the aircraft and ordered versions for twin-engined training, liaison duties and as a target tug. The most unusual version was the Potez 565, modified with an arrester hook for use on the aircraft carrier Béarn.