- I am not interested in adding the Breguet 910
Today I will tell you about another french flying bomb: the Breguet 910.
Part I: Development
The development of the breguet 910 is similar to that of the SNCASE SE 1500, indeed these two gliders come from the same program: the AS 10 program.
In 1945, several allied teams travel through defeated germany in order to recover german war technology. The French were no exception. Within their expedition, there was a group detached by the armée de l’air. Among them, Michel Decker, head of the section STA/ES (Service Technique Aéronautique / Engin Spéciaux (: Aeronautical Technical Service / Special Machinery in english) was responsible for the study and recovery of German missiles and rockets.
On his return to France, Decker established a major construction program covering all categories of missiles including air-to-ground missiles (AS in French)
Then he sent this program (the famous AS 10 program) to all the French aeronautical companies of the moment.
Several companies responded to the call for tenders, but only SNCASE and Ateliers Louis Bréguet proposed a realistic projects.
While the SNCASE was building what was to become the SE 1500, the Ateliers offered the Breguet 910, a guided glide bomb directly inspired by a German weapon: the Bhlom und Voss 246.
Part II: Characteristics
Work on the Breguet 910 began in 1947 under the direction of Jean Brocard, director of the workshops, and George Bruner, the design office manager of the Atelier Louis Breguet. These two men were greatly inspired by the plans for the BV246, right through to the manufacturing process of the wings.
Indeed, the creators of the German bomb were aware of the shortage of strategic material which hit Germany at the end of the war. Also, the wings were made of magnesite cement, formed around a steel spar.
Interested in this construction concept which offered a real economic gain compared to the construction of a conventional metal wing, Bruner decided to improve the concept by calling on a civilian specialist in the construction of concrete structures: Eugène Freyssinet.
For the little story, this one will tell later during a conference that when he saw the 2 engineers of Bréguet come to visit him to ask him to manufacture concrete glider wings, he first thought that he was dealing with madmen. Freyssinet got down to work all the same and proposed wings which presented clear improvements compared to the German model.
Indeed if the German bomb wing was an aerodynamically shaped solid concrete casting, the French bomb wing was hollow, with a three-vault arrangement. The french wings were lighter but also smaller. Compared to a conventional metal wing of equal bearing capacity, Breguet’s concrete wing weighed only 15% more - and was almost half the price and easier to manufacture. One wing weighed 180 kg and was 13% of the weight of the entire bomb.
In addition, the manufacturing time was reduced: in the ratio of 3.4 to 1 for a series of 50 wings, but in a ratio of 5 to 1 for a series of 500 wings.
Certainly, the concrete wings, which are heavier, reduce the aerodynamic qualities of the bombs compared to conventional wings. However the bombs benefiting from a single use, these aerodynamic qualities could well be sacrificed for production gains.
Other advantages of cement wings which is not intuitive at first sight: their astonishing solidity.
As Brocard said in an interview:« when a projectile passes through this type of material, it leaves behind no burrs or cracks ».
Note for geology enthusiasts, the grains used for the concrete are pink porphyry grains, one of the hardest and most abundant minerals in the Massif Central, thus allowing mass production with a mineral present in large quantities on French soil.
These wings passed their first technical tests in December 1948
Unlike the German bomb which had a double vertical tail (or cross tail depend on the version), the French bomb had a classic but inverted tail (the vertical stabilizer was at the bottom ).
Always with the idea of facilitating mass production, it was decided that the three parts of the tail would have exactly the same dimensions.
Finally, the French bomb had high wings unlike the German bomb which had medium wings. She was more massive and slightly taller but its wingspan was much smaller.
As for the control system, it was a radio control (like the SE 1500) with the observer located in the nose of the carrier aircraft who controlled the bomb with a remote control designed by engineer Marcel Gianoli, the creator and CEO of ECA Group (a company specializing in remote-controlled devices that still exists today). Interesting fact to be underlined, in order to facilitate its tracking by the observer, the bomb was equipped with an optical recognition system: either a smoke bomb or a flashlight at the back of the tail. A comparison, its direct competitors, SE 1500, 1520 and 1530 did not have any.
wing span 4.00 m
length 4.81 m
wing area 2.00 m²
Diameter: 0.65 m
Part III: Performances and end of progam
And now that we are done with the technical description, here is an overview of its performances.
In 1952 1953 period, six Br 910 glide bombs were tested :
Dropped from a carrier aircraft at an altitude of 5,000 meters, the glide bomb coulds be dropped from a distance of 50 km from its target (exactly like the SE 1530) and flew at a speed of 800 km/h.
In addition, the bomb could carry a ton of melinite (twice as much as the SE 1520 and 1530) but in order to increase the range, lighter warheads from 500 to 250 kg could be installed.
Faced with such performance, an order for 1400 bombs was placed with the Breguet company but was quickly canceled. Indeed, the Bréguet suffered from the same problems as its competitor the SE 1500: the guidance system, although giving a range of 50 km on paper, was in reality limited by the visual range: the observer was obliged to follow the bomb to for controlling. Finally, the disappearance of heavy bombers within the French army left this type of armament without a future.
A total of twelve wing panels were manufactured. The wings which were not used during the tests were given to the United Kingdom which was interested in their design.
Part IV: Comparison of the Breguet 910 with the BV246, the SNCASE SE 1530 and Ki 148
Part V Plane choice:
Now the famous question of the carrier plane arises, and there we have a problem. I couldn’t find any information on the plane used during the tests.
The only thing we are sure of is that the first plane to have been equipped with this bomb was the Breguet 482, one of the rare French bombers to survive the Second World War.
In 1950 it was agreed to use the last example of Breguet 482 (model number 2) as a tester and missile launcher.For this a new contract (n° 4160/50) was awarded to Bréguet on August 9, 1950 to modify the aircraft for its new mission. Initially, it was this aircraft that should have carried out the tests of the SE 1500 and ECA machines in addition to the Breguet 910.
Unfortunately, due to numerous engine problems, the plane only made one flight as a test plane for special devices, without ever having carried one of them. However, several attempts at composite assemblies of the Breguet 910 were tested on the ground on the stationary Breguet 482 and allowed the development of “the cathedral”, a launching structure which would be used on other launcher aircraft.
This information should not be taken lightly: we can notice that the dimensions of the central cell are similar to that of its rival the SE 1530 allowing a launch from this same « cathedrale ».
The famous cathedrale
Same cathedrale with SNCASE SE 1531
Now the question of the carrier plane which carried the Breguet 910 for its 6 test flights remains unresolved. There are several potential candidates who could have filled this role, including one who stands out more than the others.
This Cathedral (which we have already talked about) was placed on 4 planes:
-the SNCASE SE 161 Languedoc (a civil plane used as an experimental launcher and which, having no other armament, is of little interest in the games)
A french Cambera (which was used for the remote-controlled target release)
A french Lancaster (which was used for the remote-controlled target release) and who could carry two cathedrals and therefore potentially two bombs
The LeO 451
The LeO 451 is by far the best candidate: from a historical point of view, if we look at the launch carried out on the SE 1500 series, it was the only launcher in activity over the period from 1948 to 1953 (period of Bréguet 910 test), the other planes were used later and were only used for remote-controlled target dropping.Furthermore, of all these aircraft, the Leo 451 is the test aircraft which carried the most specials devices differents during its career, ranging from Arsenal target machines to the first post-war French ramjets.
Finally, it was the LeO 451 which served as a carrier aircraft for the ECA and SNCASE machines, a task which initially fell to the Breguet 482 as well as the test flights with the Breguet 910.
Last positive point ,I will add that the LeO 451 is already in game in the French tree.
Finally, why add the Breguet 910 in game.
-It’s the biggest French flying bomb ever built
-Upgrade the LeO 451 (or any other French carrier aircraft)
-Excellent potential for combined battles as well as naval battles
-Ability to perform «surgical attacks» at high altitude
-French equivalent to the Ki-148 I-Go
-One more argument for the introduction of the BV246, its equivalent (and its spiritual mother) on the German tree
-Completely new gameplay for the French tree
-Give a new challenge to enemy fighters who would have fun intercepting them.
-1 ton of explosive: I draw your attention to the fact that currently no French prop aircraft has such a heavy bomb and for the player of LeO 451 in particular, it is an excellent reward when you know that you start with 50 kg bombs
-For the fun of course !!!
Here, the link to the SNCASE SE 1500 topic:
SNCASE SE 1500 series (and LeO 451 use):
For the LeO 451 , i used a newsletter of the members of the “Lyon Society of Aviation History and Aeronautical Documentation”.
You cand find this newsletter on SE 1500 SNCASE topics, I could not attach the pdf here because it is too heavy.