Aviation of World War II

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Breguet Br.790 Nautilus

Reconnaissance Flying Boat


Breguet Br.790

Reconnaissance flying boat Breguet Br. 730 Nautilus - was a single-engine three-seater all-metal monoplane with closed cockpits for the pilot and observer and an open cockpit for the gunner. The hull of the flying boat is two-legged, additional stability on the water was provided by one-legged floats under each wing.

The first instance, Br.790-01, was built in June 1939 and was flown around it in the same month. In general, the impressions of the flight on a flying boat were positive. The biggest drawback was the lack of water resistance. The prototype underwent a series of improvements, which included a 0.35m lengthening of the fuselage and the installation of two washers on the stabilizers. In February 1940, the aircraft was handed over for testing, and at the end of the test, the naval aviation ordered 75 Br.790 flying boats. In the meantime, tests began on the second prototype Br.790-02, which had minor changes in the fuselage design.

However, in May 1940, the high priority of fighter production forced Aeronavale to reduce the order to 45 aircraft, but this order was not fulfilled either - France's quick surrender left no chances to launch Br.790 production. However, according to some reports, the two existing prototypes were successfully used to patrol the coast, although their further fate remains unknown.

Shortly before the termination of the Br.790 construction program, Breguet engineers developed several more variants of this flying boat. The naval aviation was offered the Br.791 variants with the Gnome-Rhone 14M engine and the Br.792 - a catapult reconnaissance aircraft to replace the outdated Liore 130 and Potez 452. Both projects remained unfulfilled.

Br.790 Nautilus Specification
Crew 3
Wingspan, m 17.00
Length, m 13.00
Height, m 4.00
1 × PE Hispano-Suiza 12Xirs power, h.p. 1 × 720
Weight, kg:
Empty 2700
Loaded weight 3,600
Maximum speed, km/h 310
Rate of climb, m/min 438
Cruising speed, km/h 150
Service ceiling, m 6,000
Service range, km 900
2 × 7.5 mm Darne machine guns, 2 × 75 kg bombs

Photo Description
Drawing Br.790

Drawing Br.790


  • Aviation in World War II. Aircraft of France / Aviation collection 10 /
  • Reconnaissance - patrol seaplane Breguet Br.790 "Nautilus" / Andrey Krumkach /