|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / France / Loire|
In 1927, the shipbuilding concern Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire established an aircraft division and, in 1929, initiated design of a lightweight fighter for which alternative engines were proposed. These were the 300hp Gnome-Rhone Titan II (Loire 40), the 500hp Hispano- Suiza 12Mc (Loire 41) and the 420hp Gnome-Rhone 9Asb Jupiter VII (Loire 42). When, in 1930, the lightweight fighter concept was discarded by the Service Technique de l'Aeronautique (STAe), a new C1 (single-seat fighter) programme was initiated for which there were 10 official contenders. All of these were powered by the supercharged Hispano-Suiza 12Xbrs 12-cylinder liquid-cooled engine. As one of these contenders, the Loire 43 was a further development of the Loire 40 series of fighter projects. It was a gull-winged, braced monoplane of all-metal stressed-skin construction with an armament of two synchronised 7.7mm MAC-built Vickers guns. The Loire 43 was flown on 17 October 1932, but 13 weeks later, on 14 January 1933, and before it could undergo official evaluation, its pilot apparently lost consciousness after climbing to 9000m and the aircraft spun into the ground.