|GENERAL-PURPOSE MILITARY AIRCRAFT||Virtual Aircraft Museum / France / Potez|
One of the most famous military aircraft of the inter-war period, the Potez 25 was developed from the Potez 24 A.2-category prototype, which had been designed by Louis Coroller and flown in 1924. The refined Potez 25 prototype was built at the new Potez factory at Meaulte and flew for the first time in early 1925. An unequal-span biplane, the Potez 25 had an engine mounting capable of taking a wide variety of powerplants in the 298kW to 447kW range. The carefully contoured fuselage accommodated pilot and observer/gunner close together in tandem cockpits beneath a cut-out in the trailing edge of the upper wing centre section. The new cross-axle landing gear had specially designed Potez shock absorbers.
In all, 87 variants of the type were developed for military and civil use, and over 3,500 examples were built in France, most at the Potez factory, but others under licence by A.N.F. Les Mureaux and Hanriot. Abroad, 300 Potez 25s were licence-built in Poland, 200 in Yugoslavia, 70 in Romania and 27 in Portugal. Other countries which used French-built aircraft included China, where the type was used against the Japanese; Paraguay, where it operated against the Bolivian air arm; Uruguay; Greece; Ethiopia, which flew a small number against the invading Italian troops in 1935; Switzerland, which retained the type in service until 1940; and Estonia. In addition test examples were sold to the Soviet Union and some dozen other countries. Many of the exported and licence-built Potez 25s were of the B.2 two-seat light bomber version.
Civil Potez 25s with Lorraine engines were used by Aeropostale and its assodated companies in South America for regular mail flights over the Andes, and also by the Caudron and Hanriot flying schools. The Compagnie Francaise d'Aviation used Salmson-powered Potez 25s for training.