Dewoitine D 500
|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / France / Dewoitine|
The first Dewoitine fighter monoplane to relinquish the parasol configuration in favour of a low-wing layout, the D 500 flew on 18 June 1932. Intended to meet the demands of the 1930 C1 programme and eventually selected as winning contender, the D 500 was powered by a 12-cylinder Vee Hispano-Suiza 12Xbrs (HS 72) engine rated at 660hp for take-off and 690hp at 4000m. Armament comprised two 7.7mm Vickers guns in the fuselage, these later being supplanted by 7.5mm Darne guns with provision for two similar wing-mounted weapons. At the end of November 1933, orders were placed for 60 D 500s of which 45 were to be built by Liore-et-Olivier and 15 by SAF-Avions Dewoitine. Of the former, 40 were to be powered by the HS 12Xbrs engine and the remaining five by the HS 12Xcrs (HS 76) with provision for a 20mm Hispano-Suiza S7 (Oerlikon) cannon mounted between the cylinder banks. With this installation and twin wing-mounted machine guns the fighter was designated D 501. The SAF-Avions Dewoitine order was eventually to comprise eight D 500s, five D 501s and two D 510s. The first production D 500 was flown on 29 November 1934, contracts having meanwhile been placed for a further 50 D 500s and 80 D 501s to be built by Liore-et-Olivier and 60 D 501s by Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire, deliveries to the Armee de l'Air commencing May-June 1935. Three D 500s were ordered by Venezuela at the beginning of 1934 and delivered in July 1935, and in the following year 14 D 501s were supplied to Lithuania. The Armee de l'Air received 100 D 500s and 133 D 501s, 30 of the latter type also being supplied to shore-based elements of France's Aeronautique Navale. Small numbers of D 500s and D 501s equipped Escadrilles Regionale de Chasse in the early months of World War II, but had been relegated to tuitional tasks by 1940.