Aviation of World War II

Home Russian

Potez 452

Reconnaissance Flying Boat


Potez 452

Potez 452 - flying reconnaissance boat . The first flight was on April 15, 1932, the beginning of operation was in 1936, they were in combat formation until 1944.

The development of the seaplane began by order of the fleet, in accordance with the 1930 French naval rearmament program. In the technical requirements put forward by the sailors, it was indicated that the car should be two-seater, have small overall dimensions and a folding wing.

In accordance with the final design, the seaplane was a flying boat - one and a half-plane about 10 meters long and an upper wing span of about 13 meters. Fixed slotted slats were installed on the wing consoles, which provided the aircraft with stability at low flight speeds, and also increased the efficiency of the ailerons. Stability on the water was provided by two floats at the tips of the lower wing.

Instrument equipment located in the cockpit made it possible to fly in simple and difficult weather conditions. On some of the machines in the observer's cockpit, a TSF radio station and a small work table were installed, under which a tablet with flight maps was attached.

Taking advantage of this opportunity, the aircraft was equipped with a more powerful 350 hp Hispano-Suiza 9Q air-cooled radial engine, built in France under license from the American company Wright. To improve aerodynamics, the engine was covered with a NACA duralumin hood. The first prototype Potez 45 with a Salmson 9A engine was equipped with a metal constant-pitch propeller of the French company Levasseur (licensed Reed), while the Hispano-Suiza 9Q engine required a two-blade metal propeller from Chauviere.

Re-tests in 1933 after revision completely satisfied the customer. The minimum speed did not exceed 72 km / h, and the maximum reached 222 km / h. The plane climbed to an altitude of 5000 meters in 28 minutes. According to the test results, the previously rejected Levasseur propeller was again installed, which was supposed to improve the rate of climb. The outdated 7.7-mm Lewis machine guns were replaced with faster-firing 7.5 mm Darne machine guns, and the hull of the boat was also reinforced.

The fleet received aircraft in two batches, the first batch of 10 aircraft arrived in the period from December 1935 to February 1936, six more seaplanes were transferred under the second contract during the first quarter of 1937.

Potez 452 Specifications
Crew 1-2
Upper wing span, m 13.00
Wing area, m² 24.30
Length, m 10.33
Height, m 3.26
1 × PE Hispano-Suiza 9Qd, power, hp 1 × 350
Weight, kg
Empty 1,059
Loaded weight 1,500
Maximum speed, km/h 217
Cruising speed, km/h 178
Rate of climb, m/min 320
Service range, km 500
Service ceiling, m 6,500
Two 7,5mm machine guns, Darne

The operation of the Potez 452 flying boat took place mainly in the period between the two wars. Gradually, starting in 1937, this aircraft began to be withdrawn from the Naval Aviation. So, on March 1, 1937, this fate befell the flying boat No. 12, March 1, 1938 No. 10, May 1 - No. 2, and on June 1, 8 vehicles were immediately transferred to auxiliary units. By September 1939, there were almost no Potez 452 flying boats in the aviation of the fleet. Well, those few machines that continued to be operated in the metropolis did not take part in the battles of 1940. Longest of all, these flying boats survived in the remote corners of the French colonies.

At the end of 1940, the government of Siam (modern Thailand), inspired by the defeat of France and encouraged by the Japanese, declared territorial claims to Cambodia, which at that time, together with part of Indo-China, was a French colony. The situation deteriorated rapidly, and it was impossible to avoid an armed conflict. In November 1940, the FNEO commander, Rear Admiral Berenger, decided to remove all seaplane aviation from the ships.

The planes taken from La Motte-Picguet, Amiral Charner and Dumont d'Urville were brought together in SHM (Section d'Hydravions de la Marine), the leadership of which was entrusted to Lieutenant Gaxotte, before that, commander of a squadron of aircraft of the cruiser "La Motte-Picguet". The main task of this small unit was to conduct reconnaissance, search and locate the ships of Thailand. All part machines carried the SHM letter code on board. Gaxott had three Potez 452-No. 7 (SHM-8), No. 14 (SHM-7) and No. 16 (SHM-6). Ream, located in Cambodia, was chosen as the base for the SHM aircraft. From this base, the vehicles operated throughout the conflict, in particular during the Battle of Ko-Chang, during which Admiral Berenger's small squadron inflicted heavy losses on the Thai fleet. The flying boat Potez 452 made its last flight in this area on September 7, 1944 from the seaplane base in Bien-Hoa.

In France itself, after its surrender in June 1940, Potez 452 seaplanes continued to operate on ships based in the African French colonies - "D'lberville" (No. 6), "D'Entrecasteaux" (No. 4) and "La Grandiere" (No. 3). Two of them (No. 3 and No. 4) were destroyed on November 8, 1942 by US Navy aircraft during the Allied landings.

Photo Description

Drawing Potez 452


  • Aircraft of the Second World War. Seaplanes 1939-1945./Vladimir Kotelnikov /
  • French Aircraft of World War II /Aviafrance./