Loire 46

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Loire 46
Loire 46-Spanish Republican AF-Madrid.jpg
Loire 46 of the Spanish Republican Air Force
Role Trainer/fighter
Manufacturer Loire Aviation
First flight 1 September 1934
Introduction 1936
Retired 1940
Status retired
Primary user Armee de l'Air
Number built 61

The Loire 46 was a French single-seater fighter aircraft of the 1930s. A high-winged monoplane designed and built by Loire Aviation, it was purchased by the French Air Force. It was also supplied to the Spanish Republican forces during the Spanish Civil War, but was almost out of service by the outbreak of World War II.

Design and development[edit]

The Loire 46 was an improved modification of two previous Loire fighters—the Loire 43 and 45. Although improved, it resembled the earlier machines retaining their gull mono-wing configuration, open cockpit, and fixed landing gear. The first of five prototype Loire 46s flew in September 1934. It demonstrated excellent handling characteristics and 60 production aircraft were ordered by the Armée de l'Air.

Operational history[edit]

The initial machines arrived at fighter Escadrilles in August 1936. In September 1936, the five prototype Loire 46s were sent to the Republican forces during the Spanish Civil War.[1]

By the beginning of World War II, the Loire 46's gull wing configuration was recognized as obsolete and most of these fighters had been relegated to Armée de l'Air training schools, where they were used as advanced trainers. However, one fighter Escadrille was still equipped with the Loire 46 during the early weeks of the war. Their performance against modern German fighters was predictable.

Variants[edit]

Loire 46.01
First Loire 46 prototype.
Loire 46
Single-seat fighter/trainer aircraft.

Operators[edit]

 France
 Spain

Specifications (Loire 46)[edit]

Data from The Complete Book of Fighters[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 7.88 m (25 ft 10¼ in)
  • Wingspan: 11.83 m (38 ft 9¾ in)
  • Height: 4.13 m (13 ft 6⅝ in)
  • Wing area: 19.50 m² (209.9 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 1,450 kg (3,197 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 2,100 kg (4,630 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Gnome-Rhône 14Kfs 14-cylinder, air-cooled radial piston engine, 694 kW (930 hp)

Performance

Armament

  • Guns: 4× fixed forward-firing 7.5 mm (0.295 inch) MAC 1934 machine guns mounted in the wings

See also[edit]

Related lists

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Taylor and Alexander 1969, pp. 106–107.
  2. ^ Green and Swanborough 1994, p. 353.
  3. ^ Donald 1997, p. 588.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Donald, David (ed.) The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. Leicester, UK: Blitz Editions, 1997. ISBN 1-85605-375-X.
  • Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. The Complete Book of Fighters. New York: Smithmark, 1994. ISBN 0-8317-3939-8.
  • Taylor, John W. R. and Jean Alexander. Combat Aircraft of the World. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1969. ISBN 0-71810-564-8.

External links[edit]