Aviation of World War II

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Br.521 Bizerte

Long Range Flying Boat


Breguet Br.521

Br. 521 Bizerte. In 1929, Short S.8 Calcutta (tail number F-AIJB) was delivered to France. Negotiations were underway with Breguet to provide it with a production license, but in reality it was acquired to study the design and flight characteristics. In September 1929, it underwent a series of tests, as a result of which Breguet in 1931 developed the Breguet 521 Brizerte aircraft, very similar to the Short S.8. Then, on its basis, the French created the Breguet 530 Saigon airliner.

"Bizerte" had an all-metal construction. All fuel was contained in the tanks in the lower wing, with a total volume of 5250 liters. The armament consisted of two shooting points on both sides in the front of the boat (each with a 7.5-mm Darn machine gun), two more of the same immediately behind the wings and a fifth at the tail end of the fuselage. The underwing hangers carried up to 1600 kg of bombs, or two 800 kg torpedoes.

Serial "Bizertes" were equipped with 900 hp Gnome-Ron 14 Kirsl radial engines. Squadrons E2 and EZ began mastering new aircraft at the very end of 1935. Subsequently, several more small orders were issued for Br.521. The seventh "Bizerte" was handed over in March 1936, the twelfth - before the end of the year. This twelfth car had Hispano-Suiza 14AA engines (also star-shaped) and was designated Br.522. It was one of a kind - all the other Bizerti were equipped with Gnome-Ron aircraft engines.

Another series of ten flying boats was ordered on November 30, 1936. On November 12, 1937, three more aircraft were added to it. On April 10, 1937, the plant in Le Havre became part of the nationalized SNCAN concern, which did not affect the production of Bizerte. The 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th machines were delivered in September 1938.

Specification Br.521 Br.530
Crew 8 3
Wingspan, m 35.15 35.13
Length, m 20.50 20.33
Height, m 7.45 7.48
3 × PE Gnome-Rhone 14Kdrs, power, h.p. 3 × 825 -
3 × ПД Hispano-Suiza 12Ybr, мощностью л.с. - 3 × 785
Weight, kg:
Empty 9,470 8,430
Loaded weight 16,600 15,000
Maximum speed, km/h 245 240
Cruising speed, km/h 200 200
Service ceiling, m 6000
Service range, km 3,000 1,100
Payload, passengers - 20

From the very beginning of hostilities, Bizerte patrolled the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. On August 1, 1940, squadrons E1, E2, EZ, E5 and E9 were renamed IE, 2E, ZE, 5E and 9E, respectively. On August 15, 20 Bizertes were still in the ranks of the French fleet. Ten of them were under maintenance or repair, and one was about to be scrapped. Of the five squadrons armed with Br.521, only two remained under the Vichy government, IE and 9E. The rest were disbanded after the armistice with the Germans.

Photo Description

Drawing Br.521

Br.530 Saigon

Transport Flying Boat

Breguet Br.530 Saigon

Br. 530 Saigon - a civilian passenger version of the long-range flying boat Breguet Br.521 Bizerte.

The power plant is three Hispano-Suiza 12Ybr liquid-cooled engines with a capacity of 785 hp each. from. The commander's and co-pilot's seats were located under a raised canopy, and three cabins accommodated 20 passengers: 11 in the second class, six in the first and three in the luxury cockpit.

The first flight of a flying boat took place in May 1934. In total, only two aircraft were built, operated on the Marseille-Ajaccio-Tunis route with Air France since the beginning of 1935.


  • Aviation in World War II. Aircraft of France / Aviation collection 10 /
  • Aircraft of the Second World War. Seaplanes 1939-1945 / Vladimir Kotelnikov. /
  • The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aviation: Aircraft and Helicopters of the 20th Century / Donald D. /
Short Calcutta