Liore-Olivier H-246
1937
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Liore-Olivier H-246

Designed to an official requirement of 1935, the Liore-et-Olivier LeO H-246.01 flying-boat prototype flew on 30 September 1937. A graceful parasol-wing monoplane, its metal hull incorporated a flight deck for the four-man crew and a main cabin for 26 passengers.

In January 1938, Air France ordered six H-246.1 aircraft in addition to the prototype, and two aircraft were about to enter service on the Marignane-Algiers route when war broke out. The French navy intended to impress all six series aircraft for maritime reconnaissance, but in the event only one was converted. This was the third series aircraft, which flew in June 1940, and then went into service with Escadrille 9.E with a modified extended glazed nose section. It was armed with four 7.5mm Darne machine-guns and 600kg of bombs.

From October 1939 to November 1942 the civil LeO boats operated the route to Algiers for Air France. After that they were seized by the Luftwaffe, converted to carry 21 troops or 14 stretcher cases, and armed with five 7.92mm MG 15 machine-guns, one in a bow turret, two in lateral positions and two more firing through windows at the rear of the flight deck. They were used on a variety of tasks, including brief operations in Finland. Post-war, two surviving LeO H-246.1s were used for a time on the Air France Marignane-Algiers route.

Liore-Olivier H-246


Specification 
 MODELH-246.1
 ENGINE4 x Hispano-Suiza 12Xgrs/Xhrs V-12 piston engines, 537kW
 WEIGHTS
    Take-off weight15000 kg33070 lb
    Loaded weight9800 kg21605 lb
 DIMENSIONS
    Wingspan31.72 m104 ft 1 in
    Length21.17 m69 ft 5 in
    Height7.15 m23 ft 5 in
    Wing area131.0 m21410.07 sq ft
 PERFORMANCE
    Max. speed330 km/h205 mph
    Ceiling7000 m22950 ft
    Range2000 km1243 miles

Comments
Graham Summers, 02.03.2018

Further to Barry's comments, the two post-war survivors were in Algiers, at the time of the German's occupation of Vichy France, and this is why they are not numbered amongst the German-captured examples

Barry, 04.01.2013

The loan to the Finns proved unsatisfactory, as the boats when fully loaded were ill suited to Finnish lakes and their instrumentation was found lacking, and hence the loan was rejected.
Only 3 of the six built were siezed by the Germans they were: s/n02 F-AREI (24+62),s/n05 F-AREM (AE+HC)and s/n06 F-AREN (A3+KC)

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