BERNHARD C.F. KLEIN COLLECTION
No. 9348. Loire-Nieuport LN-10-01 French Navy
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Loire-Nieuport LN-10-01

10/31/2009. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "The design office of the Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire had begun work on a twin-engined torpedo-bomber floatplane, the Loire 240, in 1935 to meet the requirements of specification MT/CPT 9 issued on May 1 of that year, but this specification was supplanted by a new specification in 1937, by which time the Loire concern had been absorbed by the SNCAO (Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques de l'Ouest), and the Loire 240 was abandoned in favor of a more advanced project, the L.N.10.

The fuselage accommodated six crew members, with tandem dual controls on the port side for pilot and co-pilot, a bombardier-navigator's compartment in the extreme nose with a 0.295 in (7.5 mm) Darne machine gun on a flexible mount, a radio-operator's compartment immediately aft of the co-pilot, a flight engineer's station aft, and a dorsal gunner's position at the extreme end of the raised upper fuselage decking with a 0.787 in (20 mm) Hispano-Suiza 404 cannon in a powered turret.

A ventral gun was provided, this being a 7.5 mm Darne machine gun which fired through a hatch in the rear fuselage step. The bomb-bay occupied the entire lower section of the fuselage between the navigator's station and the dorsal gun turret, this accommodating either five 518 lb (235 kg) or three 904 lb (410 kg) bombs. Alternatively, two 1,477 lb (670 kg) or 1,653 lb (750 kg) torpedoes could be carried.

Built at Saint Nazaire, the L.N.10-01 was flown for the first time from the Loire Estuary on July 21, 1939, powered by two 1,600 hp Gnome-Rhone 14R 0/1 fourteen cylinder radial air-cooled engines. On December 10, 1939, the French Admiralty advised the Ministère de l'Air that no production order would be placed for the L.N.10 or its competitors owing to the decision to use land-based aircraft for the torpedo-bombing role, and it was requested that the completed machines be delivered to Saint Raphaël for experimental purposes.

At Saint Raphaël inadequate stability displayed during trials necessitated the return of the L.N.10-01 to Saint Nazaire for enlargement of the endplate vertical tail surfaces. Late in May 1940, the floatplane was flown to Hourtin to complete its official trials, and was being overhauled there when German forces occupied Bordeaux late in the following month. The floatplane was, therefore, scuttled to prevent it falling into German hands, and at that time it had logged 150 flying hours.

Created October 31, 2009