Potez 37 / 39 / 390
|RECONNAISSANCE, OBSERVATION||Virtual Aircraft Museum / France / Potez|
The Potez 37 and Potez 39 appeared in 1930. Both were two-seat braced parasol-wing monoplanes of all-metal construction, the former being intended for the fighter-reconnaissance role and having a rear fuselage which tapered into little more than a boom to give the gunner an improved field of fire. The prototype Potez 39 was designed for A.2 category observation role, and had a conventional fuselage and redesigned wings with elliptical tips.
The Potez 37 was rejected for production, only two examples being built, but the Potez 39 showed great promise and was adopted by the Armee de I'Air. Series Potez 390 and Potez 391 aircraft were subjected to various modifications during production and service, notably the introduction of a rudder with increased area, but they retained the basic features of the design, which included a divided fixed wide-track landing gear with wheel spats; streamlined Vee-struts supporting the wings; and glazed panels in the fuselage sides between the cockpits.
The Armee de I'Air received 232 P-390s and P-391s, the first unit to re-equip in early 1934 being the 34e Escadre, where they replaced Potez 25s.