Designed and built for an Aeronavale requirement for a replacement for the obsolete 521 Bizerte, the first 730.01 took to the air on the 4th April 1938 only to be wrecked in an accident on the 16th July when attempting to land in shallow water. Nevertheless an order was placed for four further aircraft to be followed by a further order for unlimited production. This order was subsequently amended when it was realised that flying boat attrition rates were very low. However, it was not until after the war that the for aircraft flew. The second pair having a redesigned nose and were powered by more powerful Gnome Rhone 14R 200/201 rated at 1,350 h.p. each.
Power plant 4 x 1,250 h.p Gnome Rhone 14N 44/45 14 cylinder radial
Span 132'5" Length 79'11" Height 28'2" Wing area 1,862 sq ft Empty weight 35,494 lb Loaded weight 62,831 lb
Max speed 205 mph Cruising speed 143 mph Range 4,300 mile
Service ceiling 19,700 ft