|FLYING BOAT||Virtual Aircraft Museum / France / Loire|
An eight-man long-range maritime reconnaissance and bombing flying-boat designed to a 1932 French navy requirement, the prototype Loire 70 made its maiden flight on 28 December 1933. During prolonged tests the original three 373kW Gnome-Rhone 9Kbr radials were replaced by more powerful 9Kfr engines, and other changes included supplementing the large single fin and rudder with a pair of small auxiliary fins, elimination of the bow gun position, and relocation of the bomb-aimer/ navigator in the extreme nose. Seven production aircraft were delivered to Escadrille E.7 at Karouba to join the prototype within a 12-month period from June 1937. From the beginning of hostilities, in September 1939, the Loire 70s patrolled the Mediterranean until three of four surviving machines were destroyed in an Italian air raid on their base on 12 June 1940. Nothing was heard subsequently of the surviving flying-boat.