Question about French competition of 1932 BN.5


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26 May 2006
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in 1932,French announced a competition for five seat night bomber,
BN.5,eight proposals from five companies;
Couzinet-91 and Potez-41M.

Although in this period (1932-1934),many BN.5 aircraft and projects
were appeared,such as; Amiot-180,Bordelaise AB-20,AB-21,Breguet-580
and Latecoere Late-530,and I don't know if they involved in this
competition or not,
who knows ?.

for the Couzinet-70 BN.5 project version,and from Hydroretronet site.

And the info about the eight proposals fron five companies was
from A-Z magazine.


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the contenders in this competition were eleven proposals
and not eight as in Hydroretro site.

They were;

Potez 41M
Farman F-211
Farman F-220
Farman F-221
Couzinet 90
SAB (Bordelaise) AB.20
Bloch MB.200
An attempt at translation of the Hydroretro piece on the Potez 41M which described the Potez 41M's earlier, unbuilt flyingboat predecessor. Anyone have an image of that earlier design?

A caption mentions a land-based transport ("appareil terrestre de transport") but its unclear whether that refers to a separate project or is just saying that the Potez 41 BN5 was really a bomber-transport design.

Potez 41 M

In 1931, the transport company Air-Union asked French manufacturers to design a twelve passenger transport aircraft able to cross The Mediterranean (1,000 kilometers). The Potez design office at Méaulte drew up a large flying-boat monoplane with high wing with four engines in tandem pairs above the wings designated Potez 41. This ambitious machine would accomodate eighteen passengers and two pilots. The aircraft cost 670,000 francs, an enormous sum for the time.

The very large wing was of unbraced cantilever type. The wing contained 3,500 liters of gasoline in the central box. A new material was chosen to cover the wing: 'Plymax', a sandwich of plywood and aluminium. However, realizing this wing proved impossible and the Potez 41 design was modified in 1932. Then the projected seaplane was abandoned when the Lioré and Olivier H-24 was chosen by Air-Union.

In 1932, the Army de l'Air issued a request for a five-place night bomber and Potez 41 design was modified a second time. In January 1933, a quarter-scale model, baptized Potez 41E, was built in order to validate the bomber's aerodynamic approach (based on the Polish PZL-3). The construction of the full-scale prototype, designated Potez 41M, was completed in 1934, but the state abandoned its night bomber BN5 program.
Re: French competition of 1932 BN.5 - Société Aérienne Bordelaise AB.20 BN5.....

hesham said:

the contenders in this competition were eleven proposals
and not eight as in Hydroretro site.

They were;

Potez 41M
Farman F-211
Farman F-220
Farman F-221
Couzinet 90
SAB (Bordelaise) AB.20
Bloch MB.200

Dear Hesham, here is a small article I've found in French on the Société Aérienne Bordelaise AB.80 (not AB.20; corrected) BN5; but it isn't "secret" and it isn't a "project"......

The article comes from the 15th April 1969 issue of Aviation Magazine International......

Terry (Caravellarella)
Terry... do you imply that AB.20 and SAB.80 were one and the same aircraft? Or did you post the wrong scan?
I find this drawing of the AB-20 in the Fana de l'Aviation (issue ?), but it is a Bn-4 (The Bn-5 is the AB-21).


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Stargazer2006 said:
Terry... do you imply that AB.20 and SAB.80 were one and the same aircraft? Or did you post the wrong scan?

I am truly terrible for putting the wrong aircraft into this thread Stéphane; very bad Caravellarella!

I'll start a new topic......

Terry (Caravellarella)
Thank you my dears Caravellarella and Retrofit.
Drawing of the AB-21 Bn5: An aerodynamic nightmare........
Source: Fana de l'Aviation (Issue ?)


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I could check something in my Trait d'Union magazines big collection (if the manufactuer first letter is from A to L, up to now), tell me which plane is very interesting and/or unknown to you. (The entry is manufacturer not competition code, sorry).
one of the list above


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I don't know a lot of this aircraft, but I think that we should consider also the Bloch 211. In my source the aircraft was the second prototype of the Bloch 210 with two Hispano Suiza 12Y vee engines, instead of the Gnome-Rhonme 14 radial engines. Do you have any draw of the aeroplane?
hesham said:
for the Couzinet-70 BN.5 project version,and from Hydroretronet site.
In the Trait d'Union #184 (Mar-Apr 1999) is more about the Couzinet 70 BN5, with 2 very different designs sharing the same code:


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Tophe said:
In the Trait d'Union #184 (Mar-Apr 1999) is more about the Couzinet 70 BN5, with 2 very different designs sharing the same code:
Still in the same issue is another Couzinet BN.5, 1932 requirement, the Couzinet 90, cancelled before the prototype was cancelled, then nick-named "sleeping beauty"...


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A derivative of the Couzinet 90 was the Couzinet 91 project. It is not mentionned if it was a BN.5 precisely, but with its machine guns in many posts turned rearwards, this is not an airliner nor a fighter...


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Excellent my dear Tophe,

thank you very very much.
Hi Couzinet-70, base of Couzinet-70 BN.5 and Couzinet 90 and 91 BN.5 drawing.



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Hi! Farman F.221.


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Hi! F.220 BN5.


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Hi! F.211.


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Hi! Potez 41.
"In 1932, Societe des Avions Henri Potez developed a project for a long-distance passenger flying boat capable of carrying up to 18 passengers. However, the following year it was decided to change the project and build a night bomber. The new aircraft was designated Potez 41 BN5. The original arrangement of engines on the wings was explained by the availability of the possibility for the crew to inspect and repair the engines during the flight. Since this arrangement of the engines was a novelty, two smaller aircraft copies were first constructed, which received the designation Potez 41E.

The first prototype aircraft Potez 410 Bn 5 took off on July 25, 1934. During the tests the plane proved to be the best. However, on October 1, 1934, the plane crashed, the pilot died (the parachute did not open), but the mechanic who remained on board the aircraft miraculously survived. After this incident, all further work was stopped. "


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Hi! Lioré et Olivier 300 (abbreviated to LeO 300).
"The Lioré et Olivier 300 (abbreviated to LeO 300) was a 1930s French prototype night bomber. Only one was built when the programme was abandoned.
The LeO 300 was designed to meet a French requirement for a BN.5 category night bomber. It was a high-wing cantilever monoplane with a crew of five. The prototype first flew in September 1933, powered by four 500 hp (373 kW) Renault 12Jb engines mounted in tandem pairs on the wings. The LeO 300 was superseded by the LeO 301 with more powerful engines but with the withdrawal of the requirement it was abandoned in final assembly and work on the programme was stopped."


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Farman F.220 series. Very sorry for including off topic.
Farman F.220
Farman F.220.01 - prototype with Hispano-Suiza 12Lbr engines (1 built)
Farman F.220B - mailplane (converted from F.220)
Farman F.220-0 - production version of the F.220B (4 built)

Farman F.221 revised version with enclosed gunners' positions, powered by 4x Gnome-Rhône 14Kdrs engines, (10 built, plus one F.221.01 prototype).

Farman F.222 definitive production version
Farman F.222.1 - revised version with retractable undercarriage and turrets, powered by 4x Gnome-Rhône 14Kirs engines (11 built)
Farman F.222.01 prototype converted from the F.221.01)
Farman F.222.2 - F.222.1 with redesigned nose, powered by 4x Gnome-Rhône 14N-11 engines, (24 built).
Farman F.2220 - airliner prototype for Air France as Ville de Dakar, powered by 4x Hispano-Suiza 12Xgrs engines, (1 built).

Farman F.223 version with twin tail and revised aerodynamics, 1,100 hp (820 kW) Hispano-Suiza 14AA-08 / Hispano-Suiza 14AA-09 engines S.N.C.A.C. NC.223.1 - prototype, built as mailplane Laurent Guerrero (1 built)
S.N.C.A.C. NC.223.01 - bomber prototype with Hispano-Suiza 12Xirs engines (1 built)
S.N.C.A.C. NC.223.2 - bomber version with Gnome et Rhône 14N engines (not built)
S.N.C.A.C. NC.223.3 - bomber version with 910 hp (679 kW) Hispano-Suiza 12Y-29 engines (8 built)
S.N.C.A.C. NC.223.4 - mailplane version (3 built: Camille Flammarion, Jules Verne, and Le Verrier)
S.N.C.A.C. NC-2230 - A single postal transport powered by 4x Hispano-Suiza 12Xirs engines.
S.N.C.A.C. NC-2233 - A Bomber version of the F.233 powered by 4x Hispano-Suiza 12Y-29 engines, (15 built).
S.N.C.A.C. NC-2234 - Three airliners built for Air France, powered by 4x Hispano-Suiza 12Y-37 engines

Farman F.224 40-seat airliner with Gnome-Rhône 14N-01[5] engines for Air France but rejected (6 built)
Farman F.224TT - F.224s converted to troop transports for the Air Force.

223.4 picture source


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Prototype F.220.01,flat wing F.221 and F.222.2 nose pictures.

warthunder. Excellent short animation is here.


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SAB AB-20.
"The SAB AB-20 was a large four engine twin boom French bomber built in the early 1930s as a development of the Dyle et Bacalan DB-70 airliner. It featured a lifting body of thick airfoil section between the inner engines. It was later modified for the attack role; a second aircraft, the AB-21, had different engines and cleaner aerodynamics but no more were built."

"SAB AB-20 A four-engined bomber derived from the three-engined Dyle et Bacalan DB-70, powered by four 493 hp (368 kW) Lorraine 12Fb Courlis engines.
SAB AB-21 Similar to the AB-20 and DB-70 but with cantilevered wings and powered by four 493 hp (368 kW) Lorraine 12Ha Pétrel engines.
SAB AB-22 The sole prototype AB-20, with a crew of five, modified with a 75 mm gun firing sideways. Test firing took place at Cazaux in September 1934, but was terminated after five rounds had been fired due to structural damage to the lower wing skin."



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SAB A.B.21.
Dear friends,
I apologize for my stupid question, but the Bn/5 and Bn/4 specifications were developed at the same time?
Can anyone make me a clear list of the projects used for the Bn/4 and a list of the projects used for the Bn/5?
I'm a bit confused...

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