Aviation of World War II

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Transport Flying Boat



The transatlantic airliner, the Sud-Est SE.200 Amphitrite * flying boat, built in France in the late 1930s, was developed in Lioré et Olivier LeO as the H.49 before the nationalization of the French aviation industry. Structurally, the aircraft was a six-engine all-metal high-wing aircraft with two additional cantilever floats to increase stability on the water. The aircraft was designed according to the 1936 French Ministry of Aviation specification as a transatlantic airliner for Air France with a range of 6,000 km (3,700 miles) and a carrying capacity of 20 passengers and 500 kg (227 lb) cargo. Such an impressive range was provided by a large supply of fuel - 38,000 liters (10,000 US gal) in the fuel tanks located in the wing. The boat's fuselage was double-decked, with the passenger compartment on the upper deck.

The companies Latécoère, Lioré et Olivier and Potez-CAMS submitted their projects, respectively Laté 631, LeO H.49 and Potez-CAMS 161, and all of them were approved for construction. In 1938, a full-size mock-up of the Se.200 was presented at the Salon de l'Aéronautique in Paris.

Until the outbreak of World War II, four SE.200s were never built, however, work in Marignane on them and the fifth machine just laid down continued after the fall of France.

The first aircraft, named Rochambeau **, took off on December 11, 1942. After trials, he was captured by the German occupation forces and taken to Bodensee. Initially, the aircraft had the French registration code F-BAHE, but then the Germans changed it to 2D + UT. The aircraft was destroyed in an air raid by British Mosquitoes on 17 April 1944.

A USA AF air raid on Marignane on September 16 destroyed the second SE.200 and severely damaged other vehicles.

The third SE.200 F-BAIY underwent extensive restoration work and this aircraft eventually took off on April 2, 1946. However, in October 1949, the plane made a hard water landing and never recovered. There were plans to complete the construction of the fourth aircraft, but they were not implemented, and he and the fifth aircraft were decommissioned.

Note. * - Amphitrite, in ancient Greek mythology, the daughter of the sea god Nereus and Doris.

** - Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeu, Comte de Rochambeau - (French Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau; July 1, 1725, Vendome - May 10, 1807) - Marshal of France (1791), participant American War of Independence and other campaigns.

SE.200 Specification
Crew 8
Wing span, m 52.20
Wing area, m² 340.0
Length, m 40.15
Height, m 9.73
6 × PE Wright GR-1820 Cyclone, power, h.p. 6 × 1500
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 27,080
Loaded weight 60,670
Maximum speed, km/h 420
Cruising speed, km/h 305
Service range, km 6,060
Service ceiling, m 5,000
Payload, up to 80 passengers
Photo Description
Drawing SE.200

Drawing SE.200

SE.200 F-BAIY-03

SE.200 F-BAIY-03


  • "Transport flying boat S.N.C.A.S.E. SE 200" / Andrey Krumkach /
  • Un siecle d'aviation francaise. SNCASE SE-200 /Aviafrance./