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POTEZ 63-11

 


Technical Specifications
Type
Twin-engine Tree-seater of Reconnaissance (A3) with low-wings and retractable landing gear.
Date first flight
Décember 31, 1938
Wingspan
16,00 m 
Lenght
10,93 m 
Height
3,08 m 
Wing Area
32,70 m2 
Empty Weight
3135 Kg 
Max. Takeoff Weight
4530 Kg 
Cruising Speed
km/h. 
Maximum Speed
425 km/h at 5500m 
Climbing Speed
4000m in 6mn 12s 
Service ceilling
8500 m 
Range
1500kms
Crew
3 Men
Motorization
2 Radial engine Gnôme & Rhône 14 cyl 14M 4/5 of 700ch
Armament
1 fixed machine-gun MAC 34 of 7.5mm forwards
1 mobile machine-gun MAC 34 of 7.5mm rearwards
1 fixed machine-gun MAC 34 of 7.5mm fixe rearwards
280 Kgs of bombs

 


Production

843 Potez 63-11 were built after the prototype that made its first flight on December 31, 1938 . They are divided in :

  • 702 Potez 63-11 were delivered before may 31, 1940 :
    • 431 manufactured in Méaulte
    • 243 manufactured in Mureaux
    • 28 manufactured inà Evreux
  • Around 120 manufactured after the Armistice, some of which were delivered to Romania

To date, out of the 843 aircraft manufactured , 222 are listed in the list below :

 


Historical

In the summer of 1938, the Potez 637 A3 made its first flight. This transitional aircraft entered service with the GAO and GR while awaiting the arrival of a more modern aircraft: the Potez 63-11 A3. This aircraft had the wings, engines and rear fuselage of the Potez 631 fighter. The front part of the fuselage is totally different from the Potez 637 A3 it replaces. The belly gondola has disappeared and the observer takes place in the nose of the aircraft, now largely glazed. In order to fit out this observation post, the cockpit is moved back, the gunner's post / radio remains unchanged. The armament is composed of a belly gun operated by the foot of the machine gunner and a back gun on mobile mount, served by the rear machine gunner. Later, some Potez 63-11s were equipped with a reinforced armament: they received 4 additional machine guns under the wings, 2 machine guns under the fuselage, and a twin machine gun at the rear post replaced the single machine gun.
The Air Ministry, confident, had already ordered 145 examples even before the prototype's first flight on 31 December 1938... At the end of the first tests, the design of the observer's glass nose was revised to optimise visibility.
1,684 examples were ordered in 1939 in anticipation of all GAOs and GRs being equipped. The first production aircraft made its maiden flight in July 1939, but delivery in units was delayed by the traditional delays in the delivery of the three-bladed RATIER propellers. Many aircraft were delivered in units with two-bladed propellers made of conveyor wood.
The French Air Ministry forecasted that nearly 900 aircraft would be operational and delivered to units in May 1940. The GR II/52 will receive, in November 1939, the first Potez 63-11. The optimistic forecasts of the authorities were of course not to be reached, but the Potez 63-11 was mainly present in the GAO and GR in the front line at the start of the German offensive in May 1940.
Potez 63-1 crews paid a heavy price during the French Campaign. The aircraft went deep into enemy territory to carry out long reconnaissance missions, too often alone, without fighter cover. Many of them would succumb under the assault of several ME109
In November 1942, after the invasion of the Free Zone, some Potez 63-11 were seized by the Germans who used them to train German pilots, before exchanging them for petrol to their Romanian allies.


Versions

The Potez 63-11 A3 will only be produced in one version


Bibliography

1) _ Editions LELA PRESSE ; Collection "Les Ailes de la Gloire"
- N°9 : Les Potez 63

 

2) _ Editions MMP ; Collection "Orange Séries"
- N°8109 : Potez 63 Famil
y

 

 

 


Photos Album

 


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