The prototype Penhoët Wibault 280-T first flew at Villacoublay in November 1930 with the development backed by funds from the Penhoët shipyards of St Nazaire. It was an all-metal low-wing cantilever monoplane powered by three 300 hp (224 kW) Hispano-Wright 9Qa radial engines although these were soon replaced by three Gnome-Rhône 7Kb and the aircraft was redesignated the Wibault 281-T. A second aircraft was built to the 281 standard but then it was converted to a Wibault 282-T with three 350 hp (261 kW) Gnome-Rhône 7Kd engines and room for 12 passengers, seven further aircraft were built as 282s. Some of the 282s were operated by Air Union on the Paris-London Voile d'Or ("Golden Clipper") service in 1933. In 1934 Air France took delivery of the first of ten Wibault 283-Ts which had an increased fuel capacity and modified tail. Some of the 282s were converted to 283 standard. Some of the commercial aircraft were later taken over as military transports.
On 19 May 1934, a Golden Clipper of Air France crash-landed on a cricket pitch adjacent to Croydon Airport, Surrey, United Kingdom, due to fuel exhaustion. Only one of the ten people on board was injured.
On 24 December 1937, Wibault-Penhoët 283.T12 (c/n 11) F-AMYD of Air France crashed nearby Zhůří (currently part of Rejštejn), Czechoslovakia, due to navigational error. The aircraft was supposed to land in Prague, but was directed by controllers to fly south and crashed in foggy, snowy and dark conditions after 120 kilometers. Two pilots and a single passenger were killed.
Rudder of Penhoët Wibault 283.T12 F-AMYD displayed on an exhibition at Kvilda