Flight, December 1926
The Paris Aero Show 1926
THE S.P.C.A. firm (Societe Provencale de Constructions Aeronautiques) which was established last year is the aircraft establishment of the big shipbuilding firm of Societe Provencale de Constructions
Navales, with shipyards at La Ciotat, near Marseilles, where the aircraft works of the S.P.C.A. are also located. The latter company was more particularly created for the purpose of producing a type of aircraft that has not received much attention in France so far - that is, a multi-engined flying boat for commercial service, in particular on the trans-Mediterranean routes. French shipping circles are beginning to take a serious interest in commercial sea-flying, which, they realise, must sooner or later supplement their own surface services. As the parent firm of the S.P.C.A. is closely allied with the Messageries Maritimes shipping line, and the latter is also a big shareholder in the new Compagnie Aerienne France-Afrique that was recently formed with the participation of the Latecoere Air lines for the purpose of establishing flying boat services between France and North Africa, the products of the S.P.C.A. will be watched with much interest.
The S.P.C.A. will exhibit at the Salon a scale model of its Meteore-63 type commercial flying boat, fitted with three 180 h.p. Hispano-Suiza engines, with which the Latecoere Air Lines are at present conducting an experimental mail service between Marseilles and Algiers. It will be remembered that it was this machine, piloted by the veteran Burri, which won the Commercial Seaplane Competition organised by the French Under-Secretariat for Aeronautics last summer. The Meteore-63 is incidentally the first French transport seaplane that has obtained a first-class airworthiness certificate from the Bureau Veritas.
The Meteore-63 is a triple-tractor, biplane flying boat of conventional construction, timber being used throughout except for the bracing struts of the engine group, which are steel tubes, and for the various fittings, which are mostly steel stampings. The wings are fabric-covered.
The hull comprises two compartments, one for six passengers being located just aft of the pilots' cockpit, and the other, aft of the lower wings, for mails and goods. The passenger cabin is electrically heated.
Specification of the Meteore-63 Flying Boat.
Engines, three 180 h.p. Hispano-Suiza; span, 20-0 m.; length, 130 m.; height, 5-21 m.; wing area, 103 sq. m.; weight, empty, 3,400 kg.; fuel and useful load, 1,830 kg.; weight, loaded, 5,230 kg.; max. speed, 167 km.p.h.; cruising speed, 140 km.p.h.; min. speed, 80 km.p.h.; service ceiling, 4,000 m.; cruising range, 7 1/2 hrs.; safety factor, 6.