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France's Potez 63 day and night fighter

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Potez 63 fighter-bomber:
France's Potez 63 fighter-bomber
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Potez 63 fighter-bomber:
France's Potez 63 fighter-bomber
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook

Design

The Potez 63 was designed to meet a 1934 requirement for a day and night fighter.1

Prototype

On April 25, 1936 the Potez 630-01 / 63.012 prototype first flew.1,2,3 The Potez 631 prototype first flew in March 1937.2 The Potez 633 first flew in late 1937.2 The Potez 637 first flew in mid 1938.2 The Potez 63.11 first flew in December 1938.2

Production

  • Potez 630 and Potez 631: ~3002
  • Potez 633: 1352
  • Potez 637: 612
  • Potez 63.11: ~9002
  • Total: ~1,1003, ~1,3602, 1,3951
    • Manufacturer: SNCAN3
    • Production: 1938 - ?2, ? - June 19403

Variants

  • Potez 63.01: Prototype.2 Had Hispano-Suiza engine.2
  • Potez 630: Day3 and night fighter.1,2 Crew 2-3.1 Appeared in February 1938.3
  • Potez 631: Day and night3 fighter.1,2 Crew 2-3.1
  • Potez 633: Light bomber.1,3 Attack bomber.2,3
  • Potez 637: Reconnaissance.1,2 Crew of 3.1 Had a ventral observation gondola.2
  • Potez 63.11: Army cooperation.1,2 Reconnaissance.3 Nose section was redesigned to be glazed.2 The cockpit was moved towards the rear.2

Usage

France, Germany, Greece, Romania, and Switzerland used the Potez 63 series.2 Romania and Greece received some of the Potez 633s before the outbreak of World War II.2

First Shot Down

On September 8, 1939, a Potez 637 was the first Allied aircraft lost on the Western Front.2

Mistaken Identity

There was a similar resemblance to the German Bf 110, and the Potez 63s were shot at by French and English fighters.1

Large Losses

By June 1940, out of 1,115 delivered to units, only 663 survived.1 Of these 251 were in North Africa.1 Over 200 Potez 63.11s were lost in the initial few weeks.2

German Use

After the Armistice production of the Potez 63.11 continued and these were used for training by the Germans.2

Specifications

  Potez 63
Type Fighter-bomber4
Crew  
Engine (Type) 2: Hispano-Suiza4
Cylinders Radial4
Cooling Air4
Net HP 670 each4
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 52' 6"4
Length 36' 3"4
Height 9' 10"4
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 9,700 lb4
Performance  
Speed 285 mph4
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range 800 miles4
Armament  
Under wing  
Under nose 2: 20 mm4
Nose MGs4
Rear cockpit 1: MG4
Bombs 1,000 lb4
  Potez 63.11
Type Army cooperation1,2, Reconnaissance3
Crew 31
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
Net HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 52' 6"2
16 m2
Length 35' 10.5"2
10.93 m2
Height 10' 1.25"2
3.08 m2
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 6,912 lb2
3,135 kg2
Loaded 9,987 lb2
4,530 kg2
Performance  
Speed  
Speed at sea level 209 mph2
336 kph2
Speed @ 18,045' /
5,500 m
264 mph2
425 kph2
Climb 1,640'/minute2
500 m/minute2
Climb to 19,685' /
6,000 m
12.5 minutes2
Service ceiling 27,890'2
8,500 m2
Range 932 miles2
1,500 km2
Armament up to 11: 7.5 mm MG2
Under wing 4: 110 lb bombs2
4: 50 kg bombs2
  Potez 630
Type Fighter3
Crew 33
Engine (Type) 2: Hispano-Suiza 14 Hbs3
Cylinders Radial 143
Cooling Air3
Net HP 640 each3
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 52' 6"3
Length 36' 4"3
Height 11' 10"3
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 8,488 lb3
Performance  
Speed  
Speed @ 13,120' 280 mph3
Climb  
Service ceiling 32,800'3
Range 760 miles3
Armament 1: MG3
2: 20 mm3
  Potez 631
Type Day fighter1,2,3, Night figher1,2, Attack bomber2, Reconnaissance2
Crew 2 - 31,2
Engine (Type) 2: Gnome-Rhône 14M2
2: Gnome-Rhône 14 M4/MS piston1
Cylinders Radial1, Radial 142
Cooling  
Net HP 700 each1,2
Propeller blades 3 each1,2
Dimensions  
Span 42' 6"1
16 m1
Length 36' 4"1
11.07 m1
Height 11' 10.5"1
3.62 m1
Wing area 351.98 ft2 1
32.7 m2 1
Weight  
Empty 5,401 lb1
2,450 kg1
Loaded 8,289 lb1
3,760 kg1
Performance  
Speed  
Speed @ 14,765' /
4,500 m
275 mph1
442 kph1
Climb  
Climb to 13,125' /
4,000 m
5.9 minutes1
Service ceiling  
Range 758 miles1
1,220 km1
Armament  
Forward firing 2: 20 mm HS4041
Rear cockpit 1: 7.5 mm MAC 1934 MG1
Under wing 4: 7.5 mm MAC 1934 MG1
  Potez 633
Type Ground attack3, Light bomber1,3
Crew 21
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
Net HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
Bombs 1,323 lb2
600 kg2

Sources:

  1. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  2. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  3. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  4. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site