Eighty-six Amiot 350 series aircraft had been completed before the Germans occupied the Le Bourget factory in June 1940. They stemmed from the famous Amiot 370 record-breaking aircraft which set up five speed-with-load-over-distance records in early 1938 and from the Amiot 340, itself modified from the long-range postal Amiot 341. The Amiot 340 took Gen Vuillemin on his notorious visit to the Luftwaffe in August 1938. Converted to the Amiot 351.01 prototype bomber, it was followed by production Amiot 351s and 354s. Each version had a beautifully streamlined all-metal fuselage, a tapered mid-wing with considerable dihedral and twin Gnome-Rhone 14N radial engines. However, they differed in having twin oval fins and rudders and a large single vertical tailplane respectively. Armament comprised a 20 mm HS 404 cannon on a flexible mounting at the rear of the crew canopy plus single 7.5 mm MAC machine-guns in nose and ventral positions. The bomb load was up to 1,200kg. After a limited number of bombing and reconnaissance missions the Amiots were converted by the Vichy French for long-range liaison flights.
| Take-off weight||11300 kg||24912 lb|
| Wingspan||22.83 m||75 ft 11 in|
| Length||14.5 m||48 ft 7 in|
| Max. speed||480 km/h||298 mph|
| Range||2495 km||1550 miles|
|A three-view drawing of Amiot 354 (970 x 1054)|
It's certainly hard to believe that this was produced by the same people who came up with the Amiot 143!
|Beldame Laurent, 23.08.2012|
There was even better : The AMIOT 356 which was a 354 engined with RR Merlin III; Due to a lack of powerful engines the French got the agreement to buy the licence of the Merlin engines (after also having considered to even produce the german DB601 !) and produce them in a factory owned by Ford in Poissy (own now by Peugeot 35 km west of Paris) ; although none of these engine were available at the defeat in june 1940, Amiot got a pair of original Merlin III in spring 1940 for the 356 model, this resulted to a brillant aircraft in terms of performance; the cowling of of the engines was as well very efficient at such a point that Rolls Royce engineers insisted to study them at their factory in Derby ; this visit in UK saved this prototype from destruction because it happend the day before France surrender on 22/06/1940; later it continues her career as VIP transport for the french free forces during the war...
|Kristin Ann High, 13.08.2012|
I am unaware of the Amiot-SECM 454 bomber. The AM.351-BCR4 and AM.354-BCR4 (Bombardment-Chasse-Reconnaissance, 4-Place) both appear in the photographs presented here. What the artists' images may be representative of I cannot say; obviously, they are meant to be the 351 and 354 (which are also sometimes denoted as -M4, for four-place or 4-seat combat aircraft).
|Beldame Laurent, 12.07.2012|
In fact that prototype did not have much in common with a ready to produce operational aircraft and then a lot of modification had to be done to get what this aircraft has been designed for and it took a long long time considering the level of desorganization of the french industry (especially to get equipments, engines etc) at that time; however this proto has a real history. In 1938 this Amiot has been chosen for a mission of prestige in the german Reich by the general Vuillemin then commander of the french air force. Before leaving, Vuillemin who requested the Amiot as the most modern available aircraft, wanted to have the emblem of the "cocotte" (hen, in slang) painted in the front fuselage, which was the emblem of the unit he served in 1914-1918 as well as to appear as an operational plane; Once arrived in Rechlin he met the general Milch head of the RLM and attended to various displays of the most modern german planes (especially Me 109, He 100, He 112) At the end of the meeting Vuillemin congratulated Milch who looked to the Amiot and replied : " you french, without any question, have the best and most modern fast bomber of the world but....the problem is that you have only one !" The events to come showed how he was right ..
Another advanced, and really beautiful, French aircraft that came too late to do the country any good in 1940. The upper photograph depicts one of the prototypes, with twin-tail and pilot's cockpit offset to the left. The others show the production model, with single tail and a larger canopy to accommodate a rear gunner. Although the 20-mm cannon was a very heavy defensive armament for that time, due to the extreme streamlining, the rear gunner had only a very limited arc of fire.
|riley bristow SD4, 23.06.2011|
|David Keeler, 01.01.2011|
I just purchased the MachII model kit this aircraft and can't wait to get started on it!
|Bernhard C. F. Klein, 03.06.2008|
This is the Amiot 454B4 4-seat bomber France
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?