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Technical Specifications
Bomber three-seater with median wings and retractable landing gear
Date first flight
October 1938
18,70 m 
14,30 m 
5,35 m 
Wing Area
43,10 m2 
Empty Weight
4875 Kg 
Max. Takeoff Weight
6875 Kg 
Cruising Speed
Maximum Speed
495 km/h at 3500m 
Climbing Speed
4000m in 5mn 50s 
Service ceilling
9400 m 
840 kms with bombs
3 Men
2 Radial engine Pratt et Whitney PW R-1830-SC3G of 910ch each
4 fixed machine-guns Brownings of 7.5mm (675 rounds) in the nose
2 twin- machine-guns MAC 34 of 7.5mm in back defense with 5
drums of 100 rounds
800 Kgs of bombs in ventral bomb bay



Two orders were placed in the United States by the French Air Force:

  • 100 DB-7 motorized by a Pratt et Whitney PW R-1830-SC3G
  • 170 DB-7 motorized by aPratt et Whitney Twin WaspP S3C4G

116 DB-7 were delivered to France at the time of the Armistice. 26 other DB-7s were taken into account between June and October 1940. 6 Unassembled aircraft were used as spare parts. The campaign in France cost 14 aircraft lost in combat

To date, out of the 142 aircraft manufactured , 47 are listed in the list below :



Faced with the inability of the French industry to produce enough modern bombers, the Minsitère de l'Air turned to foreign countries, especially the United States. The French delegation is very impressed by the performance and handling of the Douglas Model 7B. And despite the crash of a aircraft in demonstration on an engine, France passes a first order of 100 copies on February 15, 1939. The first aircraft French, became Douglas DB7, flew in the United States on August 17, 1939.

After France entered the war, a second order of 170 aircraft passed in October 1939. The latter are equipped with Pratt and Whitney S3C4-G engines with compressors. But due to lack of availability of these new engines, it was not until the 131st aircraft that the DB7 was equipped.

Two other commands will have passed, but the Armistice will not allow to honor them. The first dealt with 100 DB7A powered P & WR-2600 1600hp and the second on 550 DB7-3 equipped with Wright R-2600-23.

The Douglas DB7s delivered to France were delivered by boat to Morocco and assembled on site. They came out of the metal colored assembly lines before receiving a standard camouflage. The first aircraft was seen by the Air Force on 31 October 1939, but it was not until January 1940 that they began to equip the Bombardment units. Manufacturing is slow, however, and by May 10, 1940, only 64 units were in service.

The Douglas DB7 took part in the fighting only briefly: the first engagement took place with GB II / 19 on 31 May 1940, and by 17 June all Douglas DB7 equipped bombers were sent back to North Africa . The Air Force has decided to shelter in AFN its most modern equipment. During this short campaign, 14 DB7 will be lost in combat.

In the end, only 116 aircraft will have been received by the Air Force. 26 more will be assembled after the Armistice, and 6 others will be used as spare parts.

Under the colors of the Vichy Army, the Douglas DB7 will be hired against the allies in Gibraltar, before joining the French Free units. Some of them will be used during the fighting for the reduction of the "pockets of the Atlantic".



The Douglas DB-7 was only used by the Air Force in one version.

However, the second order of 170 aircraft was equipped with Pratt and Whitney Twin WaspP S3C4G engines, but only from No. 131: the new engines were not yet ready when assembling the first units

Other improvements were incorporated throughout the production: additional shielding to optimize crew protection and self-sealing tanks to reduce the risk of fire



1 ) _ Editions Larivière
Le Fana de l'Aviation No 433 : "Les Douglas DB-7 de L'armée de L'Air La Tragédie Des DB-7"


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