Arsenal VB 10
|Manufacturer||Arsenal de l'Aéronautique|
|Designer||Michel Vernisse and M Badie|
|First flight||7 July 1945|
The Arsenal VB 10 was a French fighter aircraft developed during and shortly after World War II. It was a low-wing monoplane with retractable tailwheel undercarriage and of largely orthodox configuration. The ultimate product of a design that began with the Arsenal VG 10 prior to the war, the VB 10 added a second engine behind the cockpit which drove a second propeller, coaxial with and contra-rotating to the propeller driven by the engine in the nose.
In January 1937 Arsenal were given a contract to develop a twin-engined heavy interceptor built from wood, powered by two 590 hp Hispano-Suiza 12X engines mounted in tandem inside the fuselage, driving co-axial propellers in the nose. Work on the VG 10 was abandoned in June 1937 in favour of the VG 20, which was essentially similar but powered by two 900 hp Hispano-Suiza 12Y engines. The VG 20 was abandoned in turn in January 1938, but the design work and studies were used for the design of the all-metal VB 10. For research in the development of the VG 10 and VG 20, Arsenal designed and built the VG 30 powered by a single 690 hp Hispano-Suiza 12X engine, which in turn led to the high-performance fighter prototypes of the VG 30 series.
Although the aircraft was first designed (and indeed ordered) in 1940, little progress was made during France's occupation, and the prototype did not fly until after VE day. By then, it was already apparent that the future of the fighter lay with jet power, but development of the VB 10 continued as a safety net for France's nascent jet fighter programmes. In December 1945, a contract for 200 machines was placed by the French government, the first of which flew on 3 November 1947. By the time the fourth had been delivered in September 1948, the entire order was cancelled, with the French Air Force relying on surplus British and American fighters to tide it over until domestically produced jet fighters appeared shortly thereafter.
Specifications (production version)
- Crew: 1
- Length: 12.98 m (42 ft 7 in)
- Wingspan: 15.49 m (50 ft 10 in)
- Height: 5.2 m (17 ft 1 in)
- Wing area: 35.5 m2 (382 sq ft)
- Empty weight: 6,230 kg (13,735 lb)
- Gross weight: 9,523 kg (20,995 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Hispano-Suiza 12Zars-15 V-12 liquid-cooled piston engine, 860 kW (1,150 hp)
- Powerplant: 1 × Hispano-Suiza 12Zars-16 V-12 liquid-cooled piston engine, 860 kW (1,150 hp)
- Propellers: 6-bladed co-axial contra-rotating constant speed propeller (3 blades each)
- Maximum speed: 700 km/h (435 mph; 378 kn) at 7,500 m (24,600 ft)
- Range: 1,700 km (1,056 mi; 918 nmi)
- Ferry range: 2,600 km (1,616 mi; 1,404 nmi)
- Service ceiling: 11,000 m (36,000 ft)
- Rate of climb: 10.2 m/s (2,010 ft/min)
- Guns: 4x Hispano Suiza HS.404 cannon (second prototype + 6x 0.5in machine-guns)
- Rockets: 4x rockets under the outer wings
- Bombs: 2x 500 kg (1,100 lb) bombs on wing pylons
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- "L'Arsenal de l'aéronautique" (PDF). www.hydroretro.net. 2007-08-18. Retrieved 2011-06-16.
- Bridgman, Leonard, ed. (1947). Jane's all the World's Aircraft 1947. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co. pp. 113c–114c.
- Gaillard, Pierre (1990). Les Avions Francais de 1944 a 1964 (in French). Paris: Editions EPA. p. 19. ISBN 2 85120 350 9.
- Green, William; Swanborough, Gordon (1994). The Complete Book of Fighters. London: Salamander. p. 31. ISBN 1-85833-777-1.
- Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. p. 81.
- World Aircraft Information Files. London: Bright Star Publishing. pp. File 889 Sheet 81.
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