Model Airplane News|
Model Airplane News Cover Art for October, 1939
by Jo Kotula
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The Potez 630 wasa twin engine,all-metal monoplane with futuristic aerodynamic lines and twin tailplanes. The large "greenhouse" canopy housed a crew of three: pilot, observer, and rear gunner. Armament was two 20 mm cannons under the nose and a single machine gun for the rear gunner.
About 400 were built before World War II started in september 1939. France. Romania and Greece received some of the Potez 630s before the outbreak of World War II.2
The Potez 630 and its Bf-110 Lookalike
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On September 8, 1939, a Potez 630 was the first Allied aircraft lost on the Western Front. Between November 1939 and June 1940, the Armee de l'Air took delivery of 723 Potez 630s. By June 1940, out of 1,115 delivered to units, only 663 survived. Of these 251 were out of combat in in North Africa and these saw extensive service with both Free French and Vichy forces. The Potez 630 had a strong resemblance to the German Bf 110, and a fair number of them were shot at by French and English fighters
Even though the Potez 63 had a disastrous combat history, the Germans had a strange affinity to the plane. After the Armistice production of the Potez 63.11 continued and these were used for training and liason by the Germans.
Here is a video history of the Greek (Hellenic) Air Force (HAF) that has a few shots of the Potez 630 in action. My favorite is an animated representation of an incident in which a HAF pilot in an obsolete biplane uses his propellor to chew the tail off an Italian bomber. I suspect that this video is even more exciting if you speak Greek...
Click Here for more information about the Potez 630.
All in all, the Potez 630 seems to rank high on the list of glorious flops.
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