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Technical Specifications
Mono-seat Fighter  with low wings with retractable landing gear
Date first flight
October 2, 1938
8.60 m 
Wing Area
Empty Weight
Max. Takeoff Weight
2677 Kg 
Cruising Speed
Maximum Speed
529 km/h at 4000m 
Climbing Speed
4000m in 5mn 48s 
Service ceilling
1 Pilot
1 Engine Hispano Suiza 12Y45 of 12 V-cylinders of 920hp at 4200m
4 machine-guns MAC 34 M39 of 7.5mm in the wings with 675 rounds
1 cannon Hispano Suiza HS-404 of 20mm in the axis of the propeller with 60 rounds



769 Dewoitine D520 have been built since the date of the first flight on October 2, 1938 . They are divided into :

- 437 built before the Armistice
- 332 built after the Armistice

To date, out of the 769 aircrafts manufactured , 484 are listed in the list below :



In June 1936, the Air Force issued a C1 program for a single-seater fighter capable of flying at 500km / h and armed with a cannon and 2 machine guns or 2 cannons. This program is rapidly modified to impose a minimum speed of 520 km / h, in order to avoid having outdated appliances as soon as they are put into service 2 or 3 years later. The D520 presented by the company Dewoitine, is retained, like the Morane 405, the CAO 200. Others will be attached later as the Bloch 152 and the Arsenal VG33. The French aeronautical industry was then in full nationalization, and the company Dewoitine became the SNCAM. All these changes considerably delay the development. Two prototypes are ordered on 3 April 1938, but the first will only fly on October 2, in the hands of the famous test pilot, Marcel DORET. It is powered by a Hispano-Suiza HS 12Y21 of 890Cv with, initially, a two-bladed wooden propeller. He quickly received a metal three-bladed propeller, but the tests were delayed following a landing on his belly. These first tests resulted in the removal of the wing radiators in favor of an enlarged ventral radiator in order to improve performance. The second prototype made its first flight in January 1939. It receives a sliding canopy, and its rudder is enlarged. He joined the CEMA of Villacoublay where he was joined by the 3rd prototype, now equipped with an HS12Y31 engine. The latter made his first flight on May 5, 1939.

A first order for 200 machines was launched in March 1939, for delivery between September and December, with 100 aircraft in service scheduled for that date. The series aircraft are slightly different from the prototypes: they are equipped with Hispano-Suiza 12Y45 engine with 945Cv compressor on take-off, the tail shell is replaced by a wheel, and the visibility of the pilot is improved. But as often at this time, the forecasts of deliveries are very optimistic. Problems with weapon development and engine cooling problems are delaying production. The first aircraft delivered in January 1940, will equip an experimental squadron, created with personnel of the GCI / 3, With the aim of ending the development. Production is proceeding very slowly. On 1 April 1940, 139 D520 were manufactured, but only 32 were delivered to the EAA301 ... During the German offensive on 10 May 1940, 228 were built for 75 deliveries. Yet at that date, production was finally in full swing, with 100 machines assembled per month, and at the Armistice, 330 D520 could be taken into account. On 10 May 1940, only the GC I / 3 was fully equipped, the GC II / 3 and the GC II / 7 were undergoing transformation, soon followed by GC III / 3 and GC III / 6. All these Fighter Groups are sent to North Africa from the 10th of June, in order to putting under cover, the maximum of Dewoitine D520. At the armistice, on June 25, 1940, 437 Dewoitine had been built, 106 were destroyed in combat, but especially by accident: the aircraft was delicate in piloting.

After the Armistice, the Germans authorized the resumption of manufacture of the D520 to equip the Air Force of Vichy: 332 additional exemplaries are thus manufactured, for 500 planned. Some of them had to face the Allied forces during Operation "Torch" in November 1942 (disembarkation of the Allies in North Africa).

After the dissolution of the Vichy Air Force, the D520s were used by the French Free Forces in North Africa, and later, on French territory, during the reduction of the Atlantic pockets. The Germans also use our D520s: some for the training of their pilots, while others are sent to their allies Romanians, Italians, or even Bulgaria. Finally, after the war, the D520 survivors were transformed into a double command and remained in service until 1953.

The record of the brief use of this fighter is rather flattering: 108 likely victories and 10 sure during the campaign of France for the loss of 26 aircraft. Some pilots will win victories on board, such as Second Lieutenant Madon with 10 victories, or Chief Warrant Officer Le-Gloan who shoots 5 enemies in a single exit.

This plane, less docile than a Curtiss H75 for example, demanded a real piloting. It was less fast than the Messerschmitt ME109E, but more maneuverable and faster in dive.



The Dewoitine D520 was only produced in one version. One can cite however the D520 S which was elaborated after the armistice with the agreement of the occupants. The latter having prohibited the use of the Hispano 12Y51 and 12Z engines deemed to be too efficient to equip the D520 assembled after the armistice, the only possible improvement was aerodynamics and discreet modifications of the original engine

The SNCASE design office therefore focused on eliminating any stray trails. The main changes are:

  • Sealing of wheel housings
  • Replacing oil cooler with exchanger
  • New water cooler fairing
  • Improvement of the exterior surfaces of the apparatus: clogged cannon holes, hinged areas covered with canvases, ..
  • Installation of new reaction exhaust pipes: 30 Cv gain
  • The installation of a "Szydlowski" compressor at a higher speed with a gain of 20 km / h

All of these improvements made it possible to gain 0.65 on the 100 Cx with a maximum speed expected of 575 km / h. The tests of the Dewoitine 520 N � 465 thus equipped made it possible to reach a maximum speed of 568 km / h at 6900 m.

Although this prototype made its last flight in August 1942, some improvements like the new compressor were introduced on assembly lines.



1)_Editions Mushroom Publications
"Dewoitine D520"
From Bartolomiej BELCARZ


3) _ Docavia Editions Larivière
-"Le Dewoitine D.520"
From Raymond DANEL / Jean CUNY


2) _ Editions LELA PRESSE ; Collection "Les Ailes de la Gloire"
- No8 : "Dewoitine D520
From Patrick MARCHAND / Junko TAKAMORI

4) _ DTU "Dewoitine D520"


Photos Album


Drawing 3 views


- Book : "Le Dewoitine D.520" From Raymond DANEL / Jean CUNY - Docavia Editions Larivière
- ...