Loire-Nieuport 40, the French Stuka

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Loire-Nieuport 40, French dive-bomber

dive_bomber-loire_nieuport_ln-401_411-10

About this aircraft and its interest in War Thunder

The LN 40 is a unique dive bomber with good flight performances and an efficient forward firing armament. Being a mass produced aircraft that saw combat, I believe it would be a nice addition to the French bomber line, and one of the more credible addition to the French WW2 tech tree.

History

The LN.40 was born from a prototype dive bomber, the Nieuport 140, which emerged during the mid 1930’s as the dive bomber was becoming a popular concept around the world as an efficient and all purpose light attack aircraft. Although very similar in shape to the Ju 87 (to the point that its maker was accused during WW2 of stealing German plans, even though the aircraft had been flying before the Stuka was conceived), the LN 40 went through several redesign during its development, changing the aerodynamic configuration of its air brakes, its landing gears and its propulsion system in order to allow it to defend itself efficiently thanks to a superior manoeuvrability. Which is the main reason why it benefitted from retractable landing gears that doubled as airbrakes, something that was unique among French designs at the time.

On the battlefield

All of the LN 401 and its naval variant, LN 411 were used during the Battle of France. It suffered massively from German AA defense, losing more than half its total fleet out of the 60 aircrafts produced. With that said, some of the attacks were very efficient, like in may 1940, when a raid immobilized an entire Panzer division led by Erwin Rommel for to days in the middle of a village after the bombs dropped dealt massive damage to the German forces clumped on the central avenue.

After the battle, they kept flying a little under Vichy regime but the lack of spare parts condemned them fairly rapidly.

General Characteristics :

Empty Weight: 2 100 kg
Take-off Weight: 2850 kg
Wingspan: 14m
Length: 9.76m
Height: 3.50m
Wing Area: 24.75m2
Engine: Hispano-Suiza 12X CRS (670 HP)
Maximum Speed: 380 km/h at 5 700 m
Cruise Speed: 280/340 km/h
Service Ceiling: 9500 m

Armament :

2 x 7.5mm Darne Mgs in the wings (300 RPG), 1 x 20mm HS-404 canon firing through the propeller hub (60 rounds)

1 x GPU bomb launcher with : 1 x G2 (50kg) bomb OR 1 X I2 (150kg bomb) OR 1 X K-bomb (225 kg)
2 x 15kg bombs under wings.

Complementary informations and images

Spoiler

Overall representation and informations :

ln401050.jpgln401049.jpg

Original schematics for the Navy order, and schematics of the landing gears/airbrakes :

ln401042.jpgln401045.jpg
ln401043.jpgln401044.jpg

Cockpit of the LN 40, optic sight, + description of the 225 bombe type K :

ln401046.jpgln401047.jpg

Climb Rate + close up on the Flaps :

ln401048.jpgln401051.jpg

Sources :

Les Bombardiers en Piqué Loire-Nieuport du Ni 140 au LN 42**,* Arnaud Prudhomme, TMA, 2005
http://www.pangea-systems.com/wwiiws/aircraft/LN.40/

https://www.passionair1940.fr/Aeronavale-1939-40/Aeronavale/Appareils/Bombardement/Loire-Nieuport_LN401/LN-401.htm

16 Likes

Thank you sir, this looks really cool and interesting!

Worth +1, although landing gear doubling as airbrakes was NOT unique to this a/c, and its performance was quite lackluster - definitely a TT addition worth making for early war.

The SAAB B17 in game uses the same landing gear air brakes

Indeed - and here’'s the Northrop BT dive bomber, not in the game…

2 Likes

This is an absolute MUST! +1

My mistake, the book implied “unique in the context of the French industry at the time”.

With all that said, the accounts recorded by Prudhomme do say pilots were quite satisfied by the aircraft, saying it was nimble, forgiving to fly and adequately armed. With all that said, it’s still a WW2 dive bomber, so obviously no record breaking performances here. Just what you’d expect for a Stuka equivalent.

1 Like

+1. Although I’m not into planes, this would definitely be a nice and interesting addition to France.

But cool

Much needed addition from a historical point of view. Very surprised that this production plane wasn’t available soon after the release of the french air tree.

1 Like

But the Stuka has double the HP or more and nearly 2,000 kg of bombs though, or at least it should, if only gaijin stopped actively nerfing it in the game. Your craft is more of a Ha 137 equivalent:

That’s a much later Stuka - the A’s and B’s didn’t get that much horsepower or bombload

2 Likes

+1 I agree, there is something France is missing and it should add.

1 Like

First, the most mass produced variant was the D (Dora), obviously. And second, even the B (Berta) & R (link) still has about double the power (1,200) and is capable of an 1,000 kg bomb load (not available in-game due to gaijin nerfage)

This tread is about the LN40 mate, not the Stuka… It’s called the French Stuka because it looks the same, has a purpose and overall close performances. Nothing more.

Technically, the LN40 could carry the largest French bomb, the 500 KG, the French army simply never did because it severely limited the range of the aircraft… Just like it did when the Stuka carried its special load to sink the Marat. As for the power of the engine… of course it’s less powerful but that certainly doesn’t mean anything. You can see yourself that the performances in flight are quite close.

Other than that, this aircraft trades the rear gunner for a 20mm firing through the propeller hub, which makes it able to defend itself better than early Stukas in this game.

This is not a competition to see which one is better mate. It’s a different experience for an aircraft that is just similar in shape and purpose to the Ju-87, that’s all.

2 Likes

That is the thing…It isn’t. My point was that lots of people would prefer to see the Stuka corrected in terms of its armament/bombload in-game, but continued mistaken comparisons & statements like these just make it harder to fix & reinforces gaijin’s neutered depiction of the Stuka & its continued lack of 1,000 kg & 1,800 kg bomb in this game

That’s completely absurd. There is no corelation whatsoever between this suggestion and what Gaijin choses to add or not for any aircraft already in game. I can guarantee you that the most likely reason is that they don’t care that much about low tier. If you’ve made a proper suggestion for the weapons you want the Stukas to carry, the only thing you can do is hope Gaijin will be interested enough to make a change. This aircraft is a completely separate matter.

2 Likes

One of my most wanted planes for War Thunder! Thanks for taking the time to make this suggestion.

The stuka stuff is off topic but you guys have actually stumbled on a super illustrative example of the impact of parasite drag (and weight I guess) on aircraft performance. TT33 is correct that the Ju-87B has like 65% more horsepower than the LN-401…yet the latter is slightly faster and has a much faster cruise speed. When you look at both aircraft in profile you can see why!
Parasitic drag - Wikipedia

2 Likes

Suggestion passed to the developers for consideration.