|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / France / Breguet|
The prototype of the Breguet 17 two-seat fighter flew in the summer of 1918. It had been intended to produce at least 1,000 series aircraft in 1919, but with the Armistice orders were cut back and the lack of urgency resulted in fewer than 100 being built during the early 1920s.
The Bre.17 was a very effective aircraft for its time. It represented a scaled-down Bre.14, but was more compact and had greater power. Like the Bre.14 it was an unequal-span two-bay biplane, but it was powered by a 313kW Renault 12K engine and had a much better performance. Ailerons were fitted to the upper wing only and were horn-balanced. The prototype was tested as a night-fighter, but no development in that role took place.
Production aircraft were powered by the Renault 12KI engine of slightly higher power, and had revised vertical tail surfaces. The rudder had rounded contours and was horn-baianced. Powerful armament was provided for the period, including twin Vickers machine-guns mounted on top of the engine cowling and synchronised to fire through the propeller disc, twin Lewis guns carried.pn a ring mount in the observer's cockpit, and a third Lewis gun which could fire downwards and under the tail through a trap in the fuselage floor. Bre.17s flew with a number of French escadrilles, but did not form the sole equipment of any single unit.