Latecoere 631 Flying Boat

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by GregP, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Not exactly a WWII fighter, but WAS developed before WWII and was dismantled and stored secretly during teh war and finished after the war.

    Unfortunately, the wooden construction proved to be troublesome in the ocean and the type was retired after a couple of crashes due to unexplained reasons. Wish it could have been a success!

    Enjoy!


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PGfDC7Vj_s
     
  2. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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  3. PatCartier

    PatCartier Member

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  4. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    That is a beautiful painting!
     
  5. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    I thought one of the 631s was destroyed on Lake Constance / Bodensee during April 1944, along with an SE 200. Allegedly by Mosquitos, though I've never found details. There was one intruder Mossie which was lost into the Bodensee early in April '44, perhaps it was that one.

    The other big French flying boat which the Germans captured, the Potez-CAMS 161, was apparently destroyed at a base in the Baltic by P-51s, though in the guncam it appears to be already half-submerged at the time of the attack.
     
  6. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Can you post the gun camera film?
     
  7. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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  8. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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  9. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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  10. FalkeEins

    FalkeEins Member

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    #10 FalkeEins, Nov 12, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012

    .. Laté 631 coded 63+11 and SE-200 (2D+UT?) destroyed on 17 April 1944 by Mosquitos on Lake Constance (just happened to be reading this in old Aérojournal issue, No. 4, Jan '99, article by Chris Ehrengardt 'Dans le service de l'ennemi')....

    ..I'm not sure that stored 'secretly' is the right term though. The Germans were fully aware of the whereabouts of the stored disassembled machine, which was hidden to protect it from Allied bombing raids. The Laté 631 story is in 'Le Fana de l'Aviation' issues 393/394/395 (or thereabouts..)..and again in issue 424 (article by Roland de Narbonne). The type was seriously underpowered even by pre-war standards, the programme was launched in 1936..F-BANT (no.2) was re-assembled post-war for 'political' reasons - to give the impression, whatever the cost, that the French still had an aeronautical industry. Air France never wanted it but had to fly it for reasons of national prestige as the national airline. More than 100 deaths followed in crashes and technical incidents concerning the type, mostly to do with the little-understood oscillatory phenomena of six unsynchronised engines on such a large wing. War-time technical advances had left the French far behind and by the time of the Late 631's first transatlantic service in 1947 TWA Constellations had been regularly crossing the Atlantic at over 400 km/h (cruise) for at least 18 months..
    the Late 631 TOW 70 T (9,600 hp), 50 passengers at 300 km/h
    the Boeing 314 TOW 38 T (6,400) 25 passengers at 300 km/h
    With its 57 metre wingspan it is still the biggest aircraft ever constructed by the French..
     
  11. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    #11 mhuxt, Nov 12, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
    Hi FalkeEins,

    I've seen a variety of dates for the destruction of the Late and the SE on the Bodensee - there's been a number of posts about both craft on the LEMB. None of the posts (or indeed the pdf work on the 'net about the SE 200) provided sources / footnotes.

    However, I've been snooping about the net again off the back of this thread, and last night came across a thread here:

    Flugzeugabstürze Bodensee? [Archiv] - Schatzsucher.de

    which, wonder of wonders, actually provides a source, namely "Im Bombenkrieg", Thomas Albrich und Arno Gisinger, Haymon Verlag 1992. This gives a list of all air raids in the area, and has this info: "06.04.1944: 00:55 Uhr tieffliegerangriff gegen drei Flugboote beim Seewerk Immenstaad. Keine Berichte über gesunkene Flugboote."

    I mentioned a 605 Squadron Mosquito above. It was lost on the night of 6/7 April 1944, crashing into the Bodensee 4 km off Uttwil, from what I've seen at 00:10. Uttwil is directly across the lake from Immenstaadt, and the time of the attack / loss matches up closely.

    On the back of the report about the date and time of the attack, the specificity of it having been against flying boats, and the absence of any cause of loss other than "Mosquito attack" for the two craft, I've now included the Latecoere 161 and the SE 200 in my database of Mosquito claims. The lack of any allied claims for the boats also appears to tie in with the relevant crew having failed to return.

    I realise the report says there was no info re: flying boats sunk, however at the very least, the 605 Sqn Mossie appears to be the best candidate for the destruction of the two craft, even if wires have been crossed and memories faded over time, so I've attributed the attack to it in my db.
     
  12. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    Just found an HD version on Youtube - seems a touch clearer when you choose the HD quality option.
     
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