Arsenal VB 10


Back to the Virtual Aircraft Museum
  FIGHTERVirtual Aircraft Museum / France / Arsenal  

Arsenal VB 10

Evolved by Ingenieur-General Vernisse and M Badie, the VB 10 was an all-metal single-seat fighter powered by engines mounted in tandem fore and aft of the pilot's cockpit and driving contra-rotating co-axial propellers. Thirty VG 10s were ordered off the drawing board in May 1940, and work continued under the Vichy government. The first prototype with two 860hp Hispano- Suiza 12Y31 12-cylinder liquid-cooled engines was flown on 7 July 1945. The second prototype with 1150hp HS 12Z12/13 engines and an armament of four 20mm Hispano-Suiza cannon and six 12.7mm Browning machine guns flew on 21 September 1946. A contract for 200 aircraft had been placed on 22 December 1945 (this later being cut back to 50 aircraft), and the first production VB 10 flew on 3 November 1947 with 1150hp HS 12Z Ars 15/16 engines and an armament of four 20mm cannon. Production was cancelled on 21 September 1948 after completion and testing of four series aircraft.

Arsenal VB 10A three-view drawing (1638 x 1220)

  Take-off weight8860 kg19533 lb
  Empty weight6230 kg13735 lb
  Wingspan15.49 m51 ft 10 in
  Length12.98 m43 ft 7 in
  Height5.20 m17 ft 1 in
  Wing area35.50 m2382.12 sq ft
  Max. speed700 km/h435 mph
  Range1700 km1056 miles

Paul Scott, e-mail, 10.11.2016 22:02

If only the French were better inspired in warfare, as they produced (and even to this day) some of the finest military technology. Excellent-looking, impressive 'plane.


Norm Harding, e-mail, 16.03.2012 11:36

Interestng concept, the rear engine may well have been built to go the other rotation, Allison made contra rotating engines for the P-38, Continental and lycoming have been diong it for (mostly Piper) GA aircraft for 40 years .


steve, e-mail, 13.05.2011 00:27

Another interesting French aircraft done in by bad timing. Like the P-38 and Do-335, an attempt to get around the limitations of a twin-engined fighter by means of an unorthodox configuration. I've thought of it a a possible carrier fighter /recon, although the long fuselage would be a little hard to fit on an elevator.
The Hispano-Suiza engines would lend themselves very well to this arrangement. Designed for a hub gun, they had a clear space between the cylinder banks, with the intake manifolds and carburetors on the outboard sides. The forward engine's hollow cannon shaft would take the after engine's extended shaft very conveniently. About the only criticism I can come up with is that having the radiators for both engines together in the single duct would be vulnerable to one hit damaging both radiators.


Cannonball, e-mail, 17.11.2009 02:54

The engine being V type probably had reduction gearboxes at the front which would raise the propeller shaft high enough to enable the rear prop shaft to run down the V of the front engine. The front engine's prop. shaft was probably hollow and the rear shaft fit through it. Of course, the rear engine's reduction gear would be different from the fronts. it would have to turn in the opposite direction . Just a guess .


leo rudnicki, e-mail, 28.04.2009 02:41

The propellors were driven by single engines as on kawasaki Ki 64 and Macchi-Castoldi Mc-72. Contra-prop gearboxes weren't that easy. I can only guess that the .5 MG's must have been in trays under the wing since the wing seems pretty well used up by the cannons. And it is considered a twin engine airplane.


Ian, e-mail, 24.04.2009 16:26

Where were the 0.5" machine guns mounted? Would have been a full wing!!
Hell of an armament though.


David Tuttle, e-mail, 04.06.2008 17:50

More than likely the two engines were tied together and the counter rotating prop gear box was mounted between the first engine and the props themselves.


Jeffery Richards, e-mail, 30.04.2007 20:43

Greetings: Very nice looking airplane however I have a quesion concerning the prop shaft from the aft mounted engine, did it run thru the foward engine and if so how. I would think this aiplane is concidered a twin engine rather than a single engine. Thanks.


Do you have any comments?

Name    E-mail


All the World's Rotorcraft

All rhe World's Rotorcraft AVIATION TOP 100 -