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France's Latécoère Laté 298 floatplane, torpedo / reconnaissance, bomber

Photos

  • Latécoère-laté 298 floatplane bomber
  • Latécoère-laté 298 floatplane bomber

Design

The Latécoère Laté 298 was designed to be a torpedo bomber, dive bomber, level bomber, reconnaissance, and patrol. The Laté 298 was first designed in 1935 and was intended to be used on the Commandant Teste (seaplane carrier). .

The Laté 298 was constructed from all metal. There were two floats that were attached to the low wings and fuselage.

Engine

The engine had radiators located under the wings on the side of the fuselage.

Armament

The torpedo was carried slightly recessed into the fuselage just behind the propeller disk. Bombs could also be placed in the fuselage for use.

Prototype

The Laté 298.01 prototype first flew on May 8, 1936.

Production

60 were delivered by the time of the German invasion.

  • Latécoère Laté 298A, Latécoère Laté 298B, Latécoère Laté 298D: ~110
  • Latécoère Laté 298F: 30
  • Total: 200
    • Manufacturer: Latécoère
    • Production: 1937 - ?

Variants

  • Latécoère Laté 298.01: Prototype.
  • Latécoère Laté 298A: Cockpit canopy was revised. Fixed wings.
  • Latécoère Laté 298B: To be used from seaplane carriers. Folding wings. Dual controls.
  • Latécoère Laté 298C: Only a project.
  • Latécoère Laté 298D: Dual controls. Fixed wings.
  • Latécoère Laté 298E: Single Laté 298D converted. Used for observation and coastal patrol. The bomb mounts and torpedo crutch were replaced by a observation gondola.
  • Latécoère Laté 298F: Built by Breguet for Germany. Like the Laté 298D but without dual controls.

Usage

The Laté 298 was used by France, Germany, and Vichy France.

The Latécoère Laté 298 entered service with the French Navy in February 1939.

Units

  • Escadrilles: HB 1 (Commandant Teste), HB 2 (Commandant Teste), T1 (Berre), T2 (Cherbourg), T3, T4

World War II

At the start of World War II there were four Escadrilles that were equipped with the Latécoère Laté 298.

Battle of France

During the Battle of France the Laté 298s were used mostly as ground attackers. They were also used against the Italians in southern France and the Mediterranean.

The Majority of the Laté 298s were located on the Channel Coast. On May 21, 1940, they had to evacuate Boulogne.

On May 23, 1940, 18 Laté 298s were used to attack bridges in northern France with 1,102 lb / 500 kg bombs. Four were shot down.

By June 3, 1940, there were only 27 operational Laté 298s left.

On June 6, 1940, aircraft of Escadrilles T2 attacked German columns near Abbeville.

RAF Use

The Royal Air Force (RAF) had one unit equipped with the Laté 298s that were used in antisubmarine patrols.

Free French

The Free French used the Laté 298s from West Africa and the Mediterranean. Sometimes being used against U-boats.

Later the Laté 298s were used against Germany coastal installations.

After World War II

After World War II a few Laté 298s remained in service until 1951.

Specifications

  Latécoère Laté 298
Type Bomber, Torpedo floatplane, Reconnaissance floatplane
Crew 2 - 3, 3
Engine (Type) 1: Hispano-Suiza
1: Hispano-Suiza 12Ycrs-1
Cylinders V 12
Cooling Liquid
Net HP 880
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 50' 10", 50' 10.25"
15.5 m
Length 41' 2", 41' 2.5"
12.56 m
Height 16' 10", 17', 17' 1.25"
15.21 m
Weight  
Loaded 9,900 lb, 9,960 lb
Performance  
Speed 190 mph
Speed at 6,560' / 2,000 m 186 mph
Service ceiling 19,685'
Range 900 miles, 932 miles
Armament 3: MG
Wings 2: 7.5 mm MG
2: MG
Rear cockpit 1: 7.5 mm MG
1: MG
Nose 1: Cannon
Bombs 1,477 lb
Torpedo 1: 1,477 lb
1: 700 kg
OR  
Bombs or depth charges 1,102 lb
500 kg
  Latécoère Laté 298D
Type Torpedo bomber, Bomber, Torpedo floatplane, Reconnaissance floatplane
Crew 2 - 3, 4
Engine (Type) Hispano-Suiza 12Ycrs-1
Cylinders Inline
Net HP 880
Dimensions  
Span 50' 10.2"
15.5 m
Length 41' 2.5"
12.56 m
Height 17' 1.9"
5.23 m
Wing area 340.15 sq ft
31.6 sq m
Weight  
Empty 6,770 lb
3,071 kg
Loaded 10,582 lb
4,800 kg
Performance  
Speed at 6,560' / 2,000 m 180 mph
290 kph
Cruising speed 149 mph
240 kph
Climb to 4,920' / 1,500 m 5.7 minutes, 5 minutes 42 seconds
Service ceiling 16,732', 21,325'
5,100 m, 6,500 m
Range 497 miles, 621 miles
800 km, 1,000 km
Maximum range 1,367 miles
2,200 km
Armament  
Wings 2: 7.5 mm MG
Cockpit - Rear 1: 7.5 mm MG
Bombs 1,102 lb
500 kg
OR  
Torpedo or Depth Charge 1: 1,477 lb
1: 670 kg

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  3. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  4. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site