Breguet 27 / 270


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Breguet 270 A2

Built to an official requirement of 1928 for a two-seat observation aircraft, the Breguet 270 was designed by a distinguished team led by Marcel Vuillerme and including Rene Dorand, Rene Leduc and Paul Deville. The prototype Bre.270.01 made its maiden flight on 23 February 1929 with Bucquet, chief Breguet test pilot, at the controls.

A two-seat all-metal sesquiplane, it introduced a number of interesting design features. High-tensile steel replaced aluminium alloys, and the short fuselage, engine, lower wing and tail boom were all attached to a steel chassis, resulting in a very tough aircraft. Following early tests, the prototype was returned to the company's Velizy-Villacoublay workshops where the tail unit was redesigned with a more angular fin/rudder assembly and lower-set horizontal tail-plane. Nine further prototypes under the Bre.270/271 designations were completed, two of them being displayed at the 1930 Paris Salon de I'Aeronautique.

Despite a rather poor overall performance, orders for a total of 85 Breguet 270s were received during 1930, all for the French Armee de I'Air. In 1932, an order was placed for 45 examples of the Breguet 271, powered by an engine delivering 112kW more than the original Hispano-Suiza 12Hb, and capable of lifting an increased useful load. Several Bre.270s were subsequently modified for VIP liaison duties, with a 'glasshouse' covering both cockpits.

In 1932 the original prototype registered F-AJRC and fitted with a supplementary ventral fuel tank, made a longdistance flight across Africa to Madagascar. Besides small batches of Bre.270s bought by Brazil and Venezuela, 15 examples of the Breguet 273 reconnaissance-bomber development were exported to Venezuela and six to China. The Bre.273 prototype had flown in April 1934. Powered by a 641kW Hispano-Suiza 12Ybrs engine with a frontal radiator (all previous versions had 'chin' radiators), the Bre.273 had improved performance and bombload increased to 400kg.

Experimental versions of the basic design included the Bre.272 TOE fitted with a radial engine, initially a Gnome-Rhone 9K and finally a Renault 9Fas, and the Bre.274 with a 567kW Gnome-Rhone 14K. The latter, intended as a bomber, was subsequently operated by sporting Frenchwoman Maryse Hilsz, who flew it to victory in the 1936 Coupe Helene Boucher contest, averaging 277km/h. A series of experimental Breguet 41 twin-engined biplanes, which shared the same 'chassis' and tailboom construction as the Breguet 270, met with initial success and secured an order for the Armee de I'Air, which intended them for the 'multiplace de combat' role, capable of fighting, bombing or reconnaissance. With the appearance of more promising rival designs, the order was cancelled before deliveries had commenced.

On 1 January 1936 Bre.270s and Bre.271s were still in service in the French observation escadrilles. At the outbreak of World War II a number of Groupes Aeriens d'Observation (manned largely by reserve pilots) had Bre.27s on charge. These included GAOs 509, 543 and 547. A number of Bre.27s were shot down while on reconnaissance patrols across the Rhine before being withdrawn from service at the end of 1939.

Breguet 274

 MODELBreguet 270
 ENGINE1 x Hispano-Suiza 12Hb inline piston engine, 373kW
  Take-off weight2393 kg5276 lb
  Loaded weight1756 kg3871 lb
  Wingspan17.01 m56 ft 10 in
  Length9.76 m32 ft 0 in
  Height3.55 m12 ft 8 in
  Wing area49.67 m2534.64 sq ft
  Max. speed236 km/h147 mph
  Ceiling7900 m25900 ft
  Range1000 km621 miles
 ARMAMENT3 x 7.7mm machine-guns, 120kg of bombs

Graham Clayton, e-mail, 13.02.2021 23:22

The thin aft fuselage was designed to give the observer a better view and a greater field of fire for his Lewis gun.


Daniel E. Carro, e-mail, 09.07.2011 01:54

Ym very interesting in french airforce between wars, and this plane always seems to me very freaky; fortunately, y found this article; is very good. Is the first time Y know about the steel chasis, and the fact that Brazil and Venezuela bought breguet 27. Ym a plastic modeler from IPMS Uruguay, and if you have profiles of differents GAOs colours and photos of interiors they were very useful to me
Thank you


Lic. Israel Ortegon, e-mail, 16.07.2009 04:18

The Venezuelan Air Force has a Breguet 273 model of this airplane at the Air Force Museum. It is in very bad shape but they have, almost, all the parts. They put it apart 20 years ago for an overhaulin and never did it. I have seen it and I think they need the technical data to put it together. Some students from the Arm Forces Experimental University want to take this project as a graduation thesis.This is only the beginning. It will take some years but I will apreciate any guidance to where I can get more information about this plane. It can be very useful in recovering this very rare airplane. Thank You. Israel Ortegon. B.S, Ms.C. Colaborator for the Venezuela Air Force Museum Foudation.


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