SPCA Météore 63

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Météore 63
Role Airliner[1]
National origin France
Manufacturer SPCA
First flight 3 September 1925[1]
Primary user Air Union Lignes d’Orient[2][3][4]
Number built 3[1]

The SPCA Météore 63 (French for "Meteor") was a flying boat built in France in the 1920s for use as an airliner.[1] It was the first product of the SPCA company (Société Provençale de Constructions Aéronautiques), founded by Laurent-Dominique Santoni when he left CAMS in 1925.[5] The Météore was a conventional biplane design for its day, with single-bay wings of unequal span braced with struts and wire.[4][6] The lower wing was mounted to the top of the aircraft's hull, with trusswork above it that carried three engines mounted tractor-fashion in the interplane gap.[4][6] The lower wing also carried outrigger pontoons near its tips.[4][6] The empennage was of conventional design, with the stabilizer carried part-way up the fin.[4][6] The flight deck was open but the separate cabin, with seating for six passengers, was fully enclosed within the hull and electrically heated.[6] The structure was of timber throughout except for the struts that carried the engines, which were steel tube.[6] The wings were covered in fabric.[6]

In 1926, SPCA entered a Météore in a competition for transport seaplanes organised by the French Undersecretariat for Aeronautics,[6] the Grand Prix des Hydravions de Transport Multimoteurs (Grand Prize of multi-engine transport seaplanes).[4] Piloted by Ernest Burri, the Météore won first place and a FF 100,000 prize.[7] It was also the first French transport seaplane to which Bureau Veritas awarded a first-class airworthiness certificate.[6] The same year, Lignes Aériennes Latécoère trialled the type on a mail route between Marsailles and Algiers,[6] the first trip taking place on 22 October.[4]

Because of the Météore's long range, Air Union Lignes d’Orient (AULO) ordered an example in January 1927.[4][8] In October that year, Maurice Noguès flew it from Marsailles to Beirut but crashed and sank off Naples during the return journey.[4][8] Nevertheless, AULO purchased a second example in May 1928, and with this aircraft inaugurated a regular service between the two cities on 6 June 1929.[8] On 17 February 1931, the Météore also established the ParisSaigon route for Air Orient, which had been formed by a merger of AULO and Air Asie the previous year. Over its lifespan, the Météore covered 100,000 km (62,000 mi).[4]


Operators[edit]

Specifications[edit]

Data from Parmentier 1998

General characteristics

  • Capacity: six passengers
  • Length: 13.05 m (42 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan: 21.20 m (69 ft 4 in)
  • Height: 5.21 m (17 ft 1 in)
  • Wing area: 103.0 m2 (1,108 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 3,400 kg (7,480 lb)
  • Gross weight: 5,200 kg (9,240 lb)
  • Powerplant: 3 × Hispano-Suiza 8Ac, 130 kW (180 hp) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 167 km/h (104 mph)
  • Range: 970 km (606 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 4,500 m (14,800 ft)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Parmentier 1998
  2. ^ The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft, p.2860
  3. ^ Taylor 1989, p.835
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j L'Association des Amis du Vieux La Ciotat
  5. ^ Hartmann 2004, p.8
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "The Paris Aero Show 1926", p.788
  7. ^ "French Competition for Transport Seaplanes", p.491
  8. ^ a b c Hartmann 2000, p.6

References[edit]

  • l'Association des Amis du Vieux La Ciotat. "La SPCA". Le Musée de l' Association des Amis du Vieux La Ciotat. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  • "French Competition for Transport Seaplanes". Flight: 491. 12 August 1926. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  • Hartmann, Gérard (2000). "Les hydravions FBA d'Air-Union" (PDF). Dossiers historiques et techniques aéronautique française. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  • Hartmann, Gérard (2004). "Les hydravions CAMS" (PDF). Dossiers historiques et techniques aéronautique française. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft. London: Aerospace Publishing. 
  • "The Paris Aero Show 1926". Flight: 775–91. 2 December 1926. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  • Parmentier, Bruno (1998). "S.P.C.A. 'Météore' 63". Aviafrance. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions.