Flight, December 1926
The Paris Aero Show 1926
THE Henri Potez firm is one of the two principal purveyors of corps observation (or army co-operation) aeroplanes, that is, medium bomber-fighter two-seaters to the military air services of France and
the countries of the Little Entente, Czechoslovakia excepted. Potez two-seaters have also been furnished in series to Denmark, Esthonia, Japan, Spain and Portugal.
Visitors to the Salon de V Aeronautique will see this year the latest type of corps observation aeroplanes produced by Henri Potez, that is, type 25 A.2 - which is the "opposite number" to the Breguet 19 A.2, just as the Potez 15 A.2 was the opposite number to the Breguet 14 A.2. In addition, the Potez Company will exhibit two aeroplanes of a type which is designated in France under the letters G.R., meaning, indifferently, grand raid or grande reconnaissance (distant cruise or distant reconnaissance, respectively). One will be the 25 G.R. with 450 h.p. Lorraine-Dietrich engine, on which Capt. Pelletier Doisy and Lieut. Gonin covered last summer a circuit of the Mediterranean (Paris-Rome-Tunis-Casablanca-Madrid-Paris) of 6,500 kms. in 41 hrs. 40 mins. elapsed time, involving night flying from Tunis to Casablanca. The same machine was used by Capt. Arrachart and Engineer Carol on the high-speed circuit of the European capitals in August, 1925, when they covered a distance of 8,000 kms. in less than three days. The other grand raid machine exhibited on the Potez stand will be the type 28, with 550 h.p. Renault geared-down engine, on which the Arrachart brothers established a world's straight-line distance record by flying from Paris to Basrah, on the Persian Gulf, last June (4,313 kms. in 26 hrs. 30 mins.).
The Potez 28 G.R. aeroplane of Paris-Basrah fame is very similar in construction to the above-named types, except that the fuselage framing is reinforced to carry the huge supplementary fuel tanks which are fixed to the underside of the fuselage and which give the machine a range of approximately 5,000 km. in still air.
While the Potez 28 G.R. is normally equipped with the 550 h.p. Renault geared-drive engine, it may also be equipped with the 500 h.p. Farman geared down engine.
Specification of the Potez 28 G.R. Aeroplane
Span, 16-20 m.; length, 11 m.; height, 4-10 m.; wing chord, top, 2-90 m.; wing chord, bottom, 1-60 m.; wing area, top, 46-40 sq. m.; wing area, bottom, 16-60 sq. m.; wing area, total, 63 sq. m.; weight, empty, 1,900 kg.; crew and equipment, 240 kg.; fuel, 2,630 kg. (3,400 litres petrol and 280 litres oil); weight, loaded, 4,770 kg.; maximum speed, with half-load, 210 km. p.h.; ceiling, at start, 2,500 m.; ceiling, with half-load, 5,200 m.
ALTHOUGH one of the younger of French aircraft firms, the Potez Company has managed to establish for itself an excellent reputation for good work, and their machines are always on sound straightforward lines. Large numbers have been supplied, not only to the French air services, but also to those of many foreign powers, including the Little Entente, Denmark, Esthonia, Japan, Spain and Portugal.
The three Potez machines exhibited at Paris were all generally similar in design, i.e., single-bay biplanes with small bottom plane and large top plane, and struts raked outwards at a pronounced angle. Most impressive of the three was, perhaps, the 28 G.R. (the letters indicate Grand Raid or Grande Reconnaissance), with 550 h.p. Renault engine. This machine is shown in a sketch. It was, it might be mentioned, on this machine that the brothers Arrachart established a new world's distance record by flying from Paris to Basra non-stop. The record has since been beaten, but the flight was undoubtedly a most meritorious one. The machine is chiefly remarkable for its large size (for a single-bay biplane) and for the large petrol tanks housed in the "belly" of the fuselage. Both cockpits are placed very far aft in the machine, and one would imagine that the view is not as good as in the smaller Potez machines.