Breguet 460

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Breguet 460
Breguet 460 Vultur-sp.JPG
Breguet 460 Vultur of the Spanish Republican Air Force
Role Bomber aircraft
National origin France
Manufacturer Breguet Aviation
First flight 1935

The Breguet 460 Vultur was a French bomber of the 1930s. Few of these twin-engined monoplanes and its variant, the Breguet 462 Vultur, were built. At least one Breguet 460 was sold to the Spanish Republican Air Force during the Spanish Civil War.[1]

Development and design[edit]

The Breguet 460 was a light bomber initially based on the plane type labeled as Multiplace de Combat, a multifunctional aircraft, by the French aviation authorities. Eventually the prototype was modified in 1934 departing from the parameters set for its predecessor, the Breguet 413, in order to meet the requirements of a high-speed bomber for the French Air Force.

The resulting plane was a monoplane fitted with two powerful radial Gnome et Rhône 14Kjrs engines and had more aerodynamic appearance, although it kept the tail of the obsolete Breguet 413. Owing to technical difficulties production was delayed and when the first prototype of the Breguet 460 Vultur flew it could not achieve the 400 km/h (250 mph) required for a high speed bomber. Thus the French Air Ministry lost interest in this unit and concentrated on projects by other companies such as the Amiot 340 and the LeO 45. These planes, however, would not be ready until three years later.[2]

Operational history[edit]

The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War provided the French aircraft industry with a good opportunity both for getting rid of obsolete aircraft and for testing new developments. Therefore it is in this context that the Breguet 460 prototypes ended up in the Spanish Republican Air Force. One of the units seen in a picture of the Spanish conflict has an improved, more modern tail of the same type that would be used later for the Breguet 470 Fulgur airliner.[3]

The number and the fate of the Breguet 460 Vultur units in the Spanish Republican Air Force are obscure as is common with most of the flying units of the loyalist air arm during the conflict. It is known that one of these aircraft was based at the Celrà airfield towards the end of the conflict and that it belonged to the Night Flight Group no. 11, which comprised the Vultur and two Bloch MB.210. This particular Breguet 460 crashed in the sea near L'Escala and all the crew perished in the crash.[1]

The Breguet Br 462 was a modernized version of the Breguet 460, although still very similar, that made its first test flight towards the end of 1936. The front part of the fuselage was redesigned to look more aerodynamic and the plane was fitted with two Gnome Rhone 14NO engines that allowed it to reach a speed of 402 km/h (250 mph). Flight described it as similar to the Breguet 461 that was supplied to Japan in 1935 A planned installation of 1,350 hp engines was expected to give it a speed of around 300 mph. Bombload was 1076 kg. Defensive armament was a forward-firing 20 mm cannon and two rear-firing machine guns.[4]

Only three Breguet 462 were built. Two of them served in the Vichy French Air Force where they didn’t see much action. They ended up being scrapped in 1942.[5]

Variants[edit]

Bre 460
Light bomber and strike aircraft with two Gnome-Rhône 14Kdrs1 radial engines. One prototype built.[6]
Bre 460 M5
1935 design. Light bomber and strike aircraft powered by two Gnome-Rhône 14Kdrs radial engines. One prototype built.
Br 462 B4
A modernized version of the Bre 460. Only 3 built[7]

Operators[edit]

 France
 Spain

Specifications[edit]

Data from GOT: Br.413[8]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 5
  • Length: 12.84 m (42 ft 2 in)
  • Wingspan: 20.58 m (67 ft 6 in)
  • Height: 4.10 m (13 ft 5 in)
  • Wing area: 60 m2 (650 sq ft)
  • Gross weight: 8,200 kg (18,078 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Gnome-Rhône 14Kdrs 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 600 kW (804 hp) 815 cv each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 400 km/h (249 mph; 216 kn)
  • Range: 2,000 km (1,243 mi; 1,080 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 10,000 m (32,808 ft)

Armament

  • Guns: 1 × fixed, forward-firing 20 mm Hispano-Suiza HS.404 cannon
  • 2 × rearward-firing machine guns
  • Bombs: 1076kg

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

External links[edit]