- Yes, don’t care how
- Yes, as a researchable vehicle
- Yes, as premium/event/squadron vehicle
Welcome to another suggestion, this time we’ll be having a look at a curious but short-lived French seaplane fighter: the Loire 210.
The story of this aircraft is rather brief, but it starts in 1933 with a French navy requirement for a new single-seat, catapult-launched hydroplane. Loire Aviation responded to this requirement by coming up with the 210. It was in fact a derivative of their earlier, somewhat successful, Loire 46 fighter. Rather than having a high, gull-wing design like the latter, the Loire 210 had a low-mounted wing. For this competition, it was the only contender with its type of float setup. This consisted of a large central float, extended towards the front to prevent the propeller from touching the water, and two smaller floats mounted under the wings. The cockpit location is pretty much retained from the Loire 46, being placed quite far back in the aircraft, behind the wings. The aircraft was pretty much entirely made out of metal and alloys, bar the outer wings where the cover was made out of stretched canvas. The plane was powered by a single Hispano-Suiza 9Vbs 9-cylinder radial engine which provided 720hp. Curiously enough this was an inferior engine compared to the one on the earlier Loire 46. The first prototype started flight tests in March of 1936 in Saint-Nazare and was then sent off to Saint-Raphaël for official navy testing. In testing it had to go up against other bidders for the contract, these included the Potez model 453, the Romano R.90, and the Bernard H110. The Loire 210 performed well and was declared the winner of the competition. This was followed by an order for 20 airplanes to equip various ships in the French navy. The first production models entered service in 1939, but only 3 months later the type was already taken out of service. In those 3 months, a string of 5 accidents had occurred, each of which was caused by structural failure of the wings. An examination was started to see what could be done to resolve these issues, but it turned out to be too costly and too time-consuming to undertake. The planes were withdrawn from service and the units disbanded.
The performance of the aircraft was rather nice on paper though, on paper much better than any of the other competitors. The 720hp engine could drive the plane up to a respectable top speed of 300 - 315km/h, and this was coupled with a 750km range. The Loire 210 had a maximum service ceiling of 8000m, which would’ve been quite an altitude for the pilot sitting in the seat, exposed to the elements. The wings, as aforementioned, consisted of an inner and an outer section. This outer section was capable of folding up to allow for easier storage on the ships. Armament consisted of 4x 7.5mm Darne Mle 1933 machine guns which were mounted in the wings.
Length: 9.51 m
Wingspan: 11.79 m
Height: 3.80 m
Gross weight: 2,100 kg
Powerplant: 1 × Hispano-Suiza 9Vbs radial piston engine of 720 hp
Maximum speed: 300 - 315 km/h
Cruise speed: 199.5 km/h
Range: 750 km
Service ceiling: 8,000 m
Rate of climb: 9.4 m/s
- 4x 7.5mm Darne Mle 1933 machine guns mounted in the inner wings.
While it might have been a pretty poor aircraft in real life, that was down to poor construction of the aircraft, an issue that will not plague the aircraft in-game. Besides those issues, the plane actually performed quite admirably for a vehicle of its type. With an armament consisting of 4x 7.5mm machine guns, it’s more than capable of standing up to other planes at the lowest rank of the game. This aircraft, to me, would be a great contender for a low rank event, or battle pass reward, maybe even as a premium. The vehicle would likely go together well with a future addition of the French naval forces. It is definitely a unique French design, and I would love for it to be present in the game.