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POTEZ 650

 


Technical Specifications
Type
Twin-Engine transport aircraft with high wings and retractable landing gear
Date first flight
1935
Wingspan
22,45
Lenght
17,32
Height
3,90
Wing Area
76 m2 
Empty Weight
4632 Kg 
Max. Takeoff Weight
7500 Kg 
Cruising Speed
250 km/h. at 2000m
Maximum Speed
300 km/h at 2000m
Climbing Speed
3 000m in 10mn 
Service ceilling
5800 m 
Range
1200 kms
Crew
2 men
Motorization
2 Engines Hispano-Suiza 12Xbrsl of 720 Hp each
Armament
14 Passengers

 


Production

15 Potez 650 were built since the date of the first flight i n 1935. It is necessary to add to it, 5 Potez 651 exported towards Romania.

To date, of the 15 aircrafts manufactured, 15 are listed in the list below :


Historical

In 1934, the Air Force was looking for a plane to equip its transport units. She first turns naturally to existing Air France commercial aircraft or under study, and is considering an order of 12 Potez 62 and 12 Bloch 220. The company Bloch declined the request, but the company Potez proposes a modified version of its Potez 621 : The Potez 650. It is powered by Hispano-Suiza 12Xgrs, and its structure is reinforced to support heavier loads. It has an extended loading door and various specific equipment. At the end of 1935, the concept was validated via an interior layout model and 10 appliances were ordered. The first flight of the Potez 650 n°1 took place on June 2, 1936 or December 5, 1936 ... The archives having disappeared during the war, the actual date is uncertain. The CEMA (Air Equipment Testing Center) of the Air Force takes charge of the aircraft February 17, 1937. The tests being satisfactory, four Potez 650 are delivered in April 1937, 5 in May, 1 in July, 1 in September (2nd series), and 4 in October. This second series of 5 devices has been formalized by the 709/7 market.

The Potez 650 mainly equip the I/601 and I/602 Transport Squadrons, and are used by the Air Infantry Groups GIA 601 and GIA 602, the first French parachute units. Two aircraft will be assigned to ministerial transport (N°1 and 6), and another is given to the CIP (Paratrooper Training Center) based in Avignon. I/602 is based in AFN, on the grounds of Algiers Maison-Blanche, while the I/601 is based in Reims. He will join I/602 in AFN at the end of February 1939.

At the declaration of war, the I/601 joined the metropolis, while the I / 602 remains stationed in Algeria. Finally, French parachutists will not perform any airborne mission. The Potez 650 will be used during the short campaign of France, to transport men and equipment to the Armistice, date from which all flights were prohibited.
It is only after Mers El Kebir that this ban is lifted. A new transport unit is created, the Transport Group II / 15 equipped with quite varied equipment, and it receives in particular 6 Potez 650. Among the important missions, we can note the transport of 60 tons of gold evacuated by the Bank of Belgium to the AFN to remove them from the Germans.
At the end of May 1941, faced with the risk of British attack on the Levant protectorates (Lebanon and Syria), GT II/15 organized the transfer of GC III/6 from Algiers to Syria via Italy (Brindisi), Greece and Rhodes (at the time Italian possession).

During this short campaign in Syria, the Potez 650 are made to carry out an air bridge between North Africa and Syria, to transport equipment and men: 59 connections will be made in just over a month

After the landing of the allies in AFN, 3 Potez 650 GT II/15, under the colors of Free French, will be used for a time until wear or blockage on the ground for lack of parts.

The last flight of the Potez 650 No. 5 seems to have taken place on July 18, 1945, with a connection Beirut - Rayack.

The Potez 651 Romanians:

In 1937, Romania wants to accelerate the modernization of its military Aviaition, and wants to strengthen its bombing force for which it has already ordered a dozen Potez 543. But the French Air Force is in the same process of remilitarization, and the Potez 543 leaving Potez factories are reserved for him. So Potez proposes the Potez 651 as an alternative. This is an adaptation of the Potez 650 bomber night, but without defensive armament. Despite the reliability problems encountered on the first French copies, these devices retain Gnome-Rhone 14N star engines. This engine, built under license in Romania, however, will have an unrelenting reliability, this confirming the quality problems related to the manufacture on the French site ... In 1937, Romania orders 6 copies and the first aircraft is delivered in flight late 1937 The next ones to be assembled in Rumania from 1938. It seems however that only 4 devices were delivered.

The Potez 651 are assigned to 83 Squadron of the 2nd Night Bomber Group. But they are quickly removed from front-line units and are assigned to transport and evacuation missions within the 132nd Independent Transport and Liaison Squadron. The unit will be dissolved in January 1941 and the Potez transferred to Grupul Aerotransport. They will be used for various transports during the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, before being relegated to stains of evacuation of wounded or piloting of twin engines. Note that one of the Potez 651 is integrated into a health unit entirely composed of female staff, including pilots. On May 29, 1944, there are still 3 Potez 651 their trace is lost in the fighting in late 1944 against the former German ally, after the change of edge of Romania on August 23, 1944.


Versions

Versions
Qty
Descriptive
Potez 650
15
Version used by the Air Force and powered by Hispano-Suiza 12Xbrsl of 720ch each
Potez 651
4
Version used by Romania and powered by Gnome-Rhone 14N10 / 11 14-cylinder star, from 870hp (then 900 hp) to 3000 m. Same design as the French Potez 650. It can carry an offensive charge of 4 bombs of 200kg hanging under the fuselage. Six copies were ordered, but it is possible that only four were put into service.

 


Bibliography

Document Air n°2:
- Potez Types 62 et 65 par Pierre Dumollard

 


Photos Album

 


Drawing 3 views

Links to WebSite
"Naval Aviation"