Bréguet 460: Flying Greenhouse

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Welcome again, in this suggestion we’ll be having a look at a French interwar bomber: the Bréguet 460 Vultur.

The Bréguet 460 was born from a different aircraft which had its origins in a requirement for a new combat aircraft for the French Air Force. The specifications of this requirement laid out the need for a type of multipurpose combat aircraft. In French this type was called “BCR” which stood for bombardement (bombing), chasse (fighting, hunting), and reconnaissance (I don’t need to translate that one). As you might already notice, this is a very tall order to ask from a single aircraft.
Bréguet designed the 410, a very odd looking biplane that unsurprisingly did not go into mass production, a few were built and at least one ended up in the Spanish civil war, but overall this type was not a success.
When the French Air Force issued a new requirement for a fast bomber (capable of reaching at least 400 km/h), Bréguet decided to develop a new model based on the previous 410. The new design looked a bit more modern with its low-mounted monoplane design and enclosed cockpit. It is however still very much a product of its time, featuring some elements that are very typical for French bomber aircraft of this period. The vast glass areas and the gondola combined with a design that makes a brick look sleek.
The first prototype of the 460 took to the skies in January of 1935, but did could not achieve the required speed of 400 km/h. As a result of this, the French government lost interest, as the other competitors were more promising.
A further development of the 460, the 462 did manage to break the required speed and would have been a solid aircraft for the French at the time, but it was already too late as Air Force was determined in their choice.
Upon the outbreak of the Spanish civil war, some of the 460s found their way into service with the Republican air force, but their documented history here is vague at best. One aircraft is known to have been stationed in Celrà, this vehicle later crashed in the ocean, killing all its crew.

As mentioned before, the Bréguet 460 was an all-metal, low-wing monoplane design. It was powered by a pair of Gnome-Rhône 14K engines which provided 825 hp each. This allowed the aircraft to reach a top speed of 385 km/h, only 15 km/h short of the air force requirement. The aircraft could climb to 4000m in a 8 minutes and 15 seconds and had a service ceiling of 10.000 meters.
Armament wise, it had 3 defensive gunners: one in the nose, one in a dorsal position and on in a ventral position in the gondola. All these gunners were equipped with a single 7.5 mm Darne machine gun.
As it was a bomber, the aircraft obviously also had the capability of carrying suspended armament. It had an internal bomb bay which had a carrying capacity of up to 1000 kg. These bombs would likely have been the standard for French aircraft at the time, so 50, 100, 200 and possibly even 500 kg bombs.

General Characteristics:

  • Length: 20.5 m
  • Width: 12.84 m
  • Height: 4.10 m
  • Empty weight: 4210 kg
  • Total weight: 7400 kg
  • Crew: 5
  • Powerplant: 2x Gnome-Rhône 14Kdrs, providing 825 hp each
  • Maximum speed: 385 km/h

Armament:

  • Defensive armament:

    • 1x 7.5 mm Darne machine gun on frontal turret
    • 1x 7.5 mm Darne machine gun in dorsal position
    • 1x 7.5 mm Darne machine gun in ventral position
  • Suspended armament:

    • Up to 1000 kg of bombs.

Place in-game:
The Bréguet 460 is an ideal candidate for a low rank, low BR bomber in the French air tree. Its performance is quite in line with other bombers of this rank so it wouldn’t stand out. Players would be able to use its exquisite looks as a form of psychological warfare, scaring their enemies into submission. Alternatively, you could use the solid bombload to attack enemy bases and ground targets. I do feel like France’s goofy interwar designs are currently underrepresented in the game, and this plane offers an option to add one that doesn’t have horrendous performance.

Spoiler

Breguet 460 Vultur | Secret Projects Forum
http://www.aviationcorner.net/gallery_en.asp?aircraft_type=Breguet%20460%20Vultur&aircraft_type_id=2853
https://www.aviafrance.com/breguet-bre-460-aviation-france-2338.htm
Breguet 460 Vultur
https://www.colettiscombataircraft.com/item/breguet-460-vultur-breguet-462-breguet/
https://www.destinationsjourney.com/historical-military-photographs/breguet-460-vultur/
Bréguet 460 series | Secret Projects Forum

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