France's LeO 451

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by ralphwiggum, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. ralphwiggum

    ralphwiggum Member

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    How did this plane fare against theLuftwaffe? I like it's unusual tail arrangement I also read ( a VERY long time ago) that it could take a thrashing and still fly :werecomingforyou:
     
  2. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    My understanding is that approx. 370 entered service and approx. 130 were lost. Not sure if this is correct though, as it is from my memory. It is also the approx. numbers from wikipedia, but that is never the greatest source to use.
     
  3. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    The only thing I could find about it's performance against the Luftwaffe was according to Combat Aircraft of World War II by Bookthrift (page 17) in the first 288 sorties, 47 were lost. However on one mission a dorsal gunner supposedly destroyed 2 Bf 110's. It supposedly was the best pre-war bomber designed by France.
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    When you are building aircraft like the MB.200 then that is not a hard thing to accomplish...;)
     
  5. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    For the most part, the majority of the LeO 451s were destroyed on the ground for lack of fuel and support during the battle for France, and a number of the survivors went to Vichy France along with a good share of them also being pressed into service with the Luftwaffe as transports.
     
  6. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Ok, good point! :lol:

    -------------------------------


    I did find some more info from French Aircraft from 1939 to 1942, Vol2 by Breffort Jouineau, pages 40 41:

    "When hostilities ceased, out of 452 machines built, 373 were delivered and about 130 were lost during the 6 weeks of the battle of France. This high attrition rate is perhaps explained by the difference between the planes' intended role and the tasks it was actually given, the LeOs being used like the Breguet 693s, in isolated low-level attacks (whereas the twin-engined bomber was most powerful at 16,500 feet...) which was very dangerous because it exposed the crews needless to enemy fire....

    .....However when the LeO 451 was used in the role it was intended for, it was a particularly effective plane."
     
  7. PatCartier

    PatCartier Member

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    #7 PatCartier, Feb 6, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
    From french AéroJournal, december 2010 :

    First flight the 16th january 1937.
    First french bomber over 500 km/h.

    French governement order form 1 783 LéO 451 but only 508 devices were taken into account by the Armée de l'Air before the armistice.
    Among these 90 were lost during the BoF among which 43 shot down by the flak and the German hunting.
    It becomes famous nevertheless in bombardments on armoured columns between Tongres and Maastricht as well as on the Canal Albert, it performs its missions without losses, but everything changes when arranging no more escort he has to face only at low height the German strengths.

    After negotiations with the armistice council, Vichy is authorized to place a new order of 225 devices.
    Only 107 are built before the dissolution of the Air Force on November 28th, 1942. A good part of the balance will be finished and delivered to Luftwaffe. After modification in LéO 451T, they are going to enlarge the german fleet of transport.( IV/ TG 4, Le Bourget)
    39 are captured by the Italians; 27 serve to rearm the 51° Gruppo BT at Bolonia in March, 1943 then are exchanged for 30 D520.

    After the landing allied in North Africa, the french squadrons gradually in 1943, passed in the camp allied to pursue the fight. But the operational career of the LéO 451 stopped in September, 1943, date in which the last unit equipped with it, the GB 1/22, exchanged his LéO 451 for B-26 Marauder.

    [​IMG]
     
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