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.
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
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
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
Overall representation and informations :
Original schematics for the Navy order, and schematics of the landing gears/airbrakes :
Cockpit of the LN 40, optic sight, + description of the 225 bombe type K :
Climb Rate + close up on the Flaps :
Les Bombardiers en Piqué Loire-Nieuport du Ni 140 au LN 42**,* Arnaud Prudhomme, TMA, 2005