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Aircraft, Propeller, Dewoitine D.551

Vehicle - Aircraft - Propeller - D.551
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NameAircraft, Propeller, Dewoitine D.551
ManufacturerDewoitine (Details)
EraEU Epoch II (1920 - 1945)
Source of TextTroveStar
Year(s) of Production1940 - 1941

History: The 551 design started in 1939. The aircraft was to be eight meters long, with a maximum airspeed of 662 km/h. It was equipped with six machine guns, and a 20 mm cannon. The 551 was designed to be able to face and defeat any other fighter of the time. The construction of the prototype took only 4000 hours, which was a record for the time. Its predecessor, the D520, took more than twice as much time to go from design to prototype.

The French government signed the armistice with Germany in June, 1940, The prototypes at the Dewoitine factory were scrapped. Two examples were preserved during the war under the name D560 and designated as sport aircraft. One example was located at Toulouse in 1945 but was also scrapped.
Constructions Aéronautiques Émile Dewoitine was a French aircraft manufacturer established by Émile Dewoitine at Toulouse in October 1920. The company's initial products were a range of metal parasol-wing fighters which were largely ignored by the French Air Force but purchased in large quantities abroad and licence-built in Italy, Switzerland, and Czechoslovakia. The company was liquidated in January 1927, with the only remaining active programme (the D.27) being transferred to EKW in Switzerland.

The company was re-established in Paris in March the following year as Société Aéronautique Française (Avions Dewoitine) or SAF. After briefly continuing D.27 production, the reconstituted firm produced a range of fighters that became a mainstay of the French airforce during the 1930s, the D.500 family.

It also developed important civilian airliners, such as the D.333 and its derivative the D.338, designed for pioneering routes to French Indochina (Vietnam), and eventually Hong Kong.

The firm was nationalised in March 1937 into the short-lived SNCA du Midi or SNCAM, and produced the D.520 as France's best-performing fighter at the outbreak of war, albeit in too small numbers to pose any serious opposition to the Luftwaffe in the Battle of France.

The end of Dewoitine as a recognisable entity was its absorption into SNCASE in December 1940, by which time Émile Dewoitine had departed to establish SIPA, and no further aircraft were produced under the Dewoitine name.

Item Links: We found: 1 different collections associated with Aircraft - Propeller - D.551
Item created by: gdm on 2019-10-07 09:44:09

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