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POTEZ 630-631


Technical Specifications
Three-seat Fighter  with low wings and retractable landing gear
Date first flight
April 25, 1936
16.00 m 
11.09 m 
3.62 m 
Wing Area
32.70 m2 
Empty Weight
2450 Kg 
Max. Takeoff Weight
4500 Kg 
Cruising Speed
360 km/h. 
Maximum Speed
443 km/h à 4500m 
Climbing Speed
4000m en 6mn 12s 
Service ceilling
1220 kms
3 Men
2 Radial Engine Gnôme & Rhône 14 M4/5 14 cylinder air cooling of 670hp each on take-off
1 machine-gun MAC 34 of 7.5mm In the back post (some aircraft were equipped with double machine-guns)
2 cannons Hispano Suiza HS 9 or HS 404 of 20mm under the fuselage



297 three-seat fighter Potez of the serial 630 have been built since the date of the first flight on April 25, 1936. They are divided into :

  • 84 Potez 630
  • 213 Potez 631

To date, out of the 297 aircrafts manufactured,94 are listed in the list below :



The Potez 630 is the result of a program of 1934 to equip the Air Force with a "Multiplan Light" aircraft capable of fulfilling missions of Hunting Command, Two-seater of escort and Two-seater fighter of Night. The Potez 630 competes with the Breguet 690, Romano 110, Loire-Nieuport 20, Hanriot 220.

The Potez 630's study deadlines are rather short: the first prototype was manufactured in April 1935 and was completed in early 1936 with a first flight on April 25, 1936, to the hands of the Nicolle test pilots. The prototype is powered by two Hispano-Suiza 14Hbs of 580ch. The aircraft is well-born, and shows good flying qualities. Beginning August 1936, it was transferred to Villacoublay to undergo some modifications. The wooden bi-rudder is replaced by a metallic model, and it receives a new landing gear. The manufacturer's tests end at the end of November 1936, and the CEMA (Aircraft Testing Center) will accept the aircraft at the end of December. The official test campaign can begin. The original engine is replaced by Hispano-Suiza 14ab 02/03, then by HS14 Ab 10/11. After acceptance of the aircraft by the Air Force, the first Potez 630 aircraft took the Air in February 1938 and the first aircraft were delivered in units in May 1938 (GCN III / 1 and GC II / 4) Where they will be used as Fighter Controls, replacing advantageously the old Bloch MB200.

However, as a result of recurring engine problems, the Potez 630s were removed from the first lines as early as September 1939, and were then used as training apparatus. They will be replaced gradually by the Potez 631, derived version equipped with engines Gnome Rhone GR 14 Mars which had made its first flights in February 1937. The only visible difference between the two models is the air intake located on the top of the hood on the Potez 630, and below Potez 631. These are delivered in units as of August 1938.

To note an interest of the foreign countries for this aircraft, since Switzerland and Yugoslavia each purchase two Potez 630s, while Potez 631 will interest Yugoslavia and China, respectively, with 1 and 4 aircraft ordered.

The Potez 631 will essentially equip the Night Fighter Squadron (ECN) and the ECMJ16 (Day Crew Squadron), and the Air Force will yield some used Potez 631 to Naval Aviation to equip its squadrons AC1 and AC2. In order to reinforce its firepower, it was decided in March 1940 to equip the Potez 631 with four additional 7.5mm machine guns under the wings: but it was only in May that the first units were changed into units. ..

At the beginning of the conflict, 117 Potez 631 were in units. Apart from the missions of fighting, some units equipped with Potez 631 were used to attack the German armored columns, without great success and at the cost of big losses.

During the campaigns of the Campaign of France, the Potez 631 will be victim of its resemblance to the Messerschmitt BF110. This led to tragic mistakes by the DCA or the French Fighter. A Potez 631 will even be forced to shoot down a D520, which despite the efforts of the pilot of Potez to show his cockades, will make several attacks on the twin-engine.

The Potez 631 will finish the campaign of France with a modest palmares of 17 Victories.

At the Armistice, most of the Night Fighter Squadrons were dissolved (except the ECN I / 13 and 4/13) and the few Potez 630 and 631 (6 and 64) survivors during the dissolution of the Vichy Aviation In November 1942 will be sent to Romania, allied to Germany, to become training aircraft or target tugs. Germany and Italy will also use some aircraft captured as school aircraft.

The Potez 631 will have been penalized throughout its career by its sub-motorization, which will prevent it from effectively fulfilling the missions for which it was planned.



Potez 630
First version of the Potez 63 responding to the program of 1934. It is equipped with engine Hispano-Suiza 14 Ab 10/11 of 640ch. These unreliable engines will lead to the removal of the aircraft in the first line. Recognizable from Potez 631 by its air intake on the top of the Engine hood.
Potez 631

Second version of the Potez 63 equipped with engine Gnome Rh�ne 14 M4 / M5 25 of 700hp. Recognizable from the Potez 630 by its air intake on the underside of the Engine hood.



1 ) _ Editions LELA PRESSE ; Collection "Histoire de l'aviation"
- "Les avions Potez" par J.L. Coroller & M. Lodet
From Patrick MARCHAND / Junko TAKAMORI

2) _ Editions LELA PRESSE ; Collection "Les Ailes de la Gloire"
- No9 :Potez 63
From JL. Coroller / M. Ledet


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