Flight, April 1935
STEMMING THE MONOPLANE TIDE
THE majority of the new French multiplace machines are monoplanes, so it is refreshing to find a French heavy bomber, the Le0.208, for which the biplane, or at least the sesquiplane, formula has been retained.
Liore et Olivier biplanes have, of course, long been standard bombing equipment in the French air service, and the new machine, instead of being radically new, like the other French "heavies," depends for its qualities of performance and load carrying on modern refinements.
Structurally, it follows standard Liore practice, duralumin being employed for wings and fuselage. Perhaps the most notable external feature is the small top plane, equal in span to the lower (which, incidentally, is fitted with flaps), but of considerably shorter chord. This arrangement provides a wide field of fire. The unusual arrangement of the large interplane struts will be seen below.
In the nose of the rectangular fuselage is an ingenious gun turret of the type illustrated in Flight of December 27, 1934, and the enclosed pilot's compartment is located just forward of the wings. A kind of "car" is slung beneath the fuselage, and carries at its rear end a Lewis gun for downward firing. A third gun position, for one or two machine guns, is provided on top of the fuselage behind the wings.
The two engines, which drive controllable-pitch airscrews, are Gnome-Rhone K.14's or Mistral Majors, giving 815 h.p. at 7,150ft., and 1,065 h.p. for take-off. They are provided with N.A.C.A. cowlings, and are mounted in the noses of nacelles into which the two pairs of landing wheels retract. It is claimed by the makers that the top speed at 13,120 ft. is 202 m.p.h. Up to 2,645 lb. of bombs may be carried, and the range is 1,243 miles.