Sud-Est SE 100 / Liore-et-Olivier LeO 50


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Sud-Est SE 100 / Liore-et-Olivier LeO 50

With the issue of a specification for a successor to the Potez 631 twin-engined fighter in service with the Armee del'Air, P-E Mercier and Jacques Lecarme of the Societe Nationale de Constructions Aeronautiques de Sud-Est (SNCASE) tendered the design of a highly innovative aircraft, the SE 100. Of mixed construction with a wooden wing and a duralumin-covered welded steel-tube fuselage, the SE 100 featured a retractable tricycle undercarriage with a steerable nosewheel and small outrigger wheels retracting into the bases of the endplate vertical tail surfaces. Powered by two 1,030hp Gnome-Rhone 14N 14-cylinder radial engines, the first prototype SE 100 was flown on 29 March 1939. Various modifications, including provision of a retractable ventral fin, were introduced as a result of initial flight test, maximum speed being raised from 560km/h to 580km/h as a result. The pro-posed armament comprised a nose-mounted battery of four 20mm cannon and a single aft-firing cannon on an electro-pneumatic mount. It was proposed that the crew would comprise two members for diurnal opera-tions and three members for nocturnal missions, and a crawl tunnel was provided between the cockpits. On 5 April 1940, during a landing approach, the pitch mechanism of the starboard propeller malfunctioned and the aircraft was destroyed. At this time, assembly of a second prototype had begun, this possessing slightly larger overall dimensions, dispensing with the crawl tunnel to increase fuselage fuel capacity and having an all-metal one-piece wing. Armament was also revised, the forward-firing battery being increased to six 20mm cannon, paired weapons of the same calibre being mounted in a dorsal turret and an additional 20mm cannon being mounted to fire through a ventral hatch. The Citroen factory in the suburbs of Paris began tooling-up to assemble 300 SE 100s for deliveries to commence at the end of 1940, but the German occupation of Paris prevented final assembly of the second prototype. Proposed variants included the SE 101 and 102 with 1,200hp Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp and 1,050hp G-R14N-2/3 engines respectively. [2]

Sud-Est SE 100 / Liore-et-Olivier LeO 50

 MODELSE 100 (first prototype)
  Take-off weight7500 kg16535 lb
  Empty weight5520 kg12170 lb
  Wingspan15.70 m52 ft 6 in
  Length11.80 m39 ft 9 in
  Height4.28 m14 ft 1 in
  Wing area33.06 m2355.85 sq ft
  Max. speed580 km/h360 mph
  Cruise speed500 km/h311 mph
  Range1300 km808 miles

Sud-Est SE 100 / Liore-et-Olivier LeO 50A three-view drawing (1000 x 616)

Klaatu83, e-mail, 27.07.2015 19:58

Yet another promising French aircraft that came too late to do France any good in WW-II.


Mordechai Dessaur, e-mail, 01.12.2012 22:00

France has always been a great producer of prototypes, but unfortunately when it came to mass production, they always missed the boat


Darryl Johnston, e-mail, 03.04.2010 16:09

The Hunchback of Sud-Est


leo rudnicki, e-mail, 28.04.2009 18:07

One evening, a janitor came into the draughting department to mop the floor. He opened the windows because he didn't like smell of the cleaning solution. A strong wind blew all the papers around. Some flew out the window. Worried that he'd lose his job, he replaced everything as best he could. Nobody noticed and the aircraft was made from the plans. That man later became Clouseau of the Surete. Any questions?


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