Breguet 521 Bizerte
|RECON FLYING BOAT||Virtual Aircraft Museum / France / Breguet|
Developed from the Short Calcutta, the prototype flew for the first time on 11 September 1933. Series aircraft differed mainly in having a long narrow glasshouse extension from the pilots' cabin to the bow of the flying-boat. Thirty were built, powered by three 671kW Gnome-Rhone 14 Kirs radial engines. These served with "Exploration" escadrilles of the French Aeronavale from 1935 until the end of World War II, latterly being used as maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine aircraft. Of these, nine were captured by the Germans and were used during 1943-45 for air-sea rescue.
The Bizerte itself was a sesquiplane with an exceptionally large single fin and rudder. Armament comprised five 7.5mm Darne machine-guns: one in the cupolas each side at the rear of the cabin, one under each of two sliding hatches (with retractable windscreens) staggered to port and starboard amidships, and one in the extreme tail cockpit aft of the tail unit.