The Loire 46 was a French single-seater fighter aircraft of the 1930s. A high-winged monoplane designed and built by Loire Aviation, it was purchased by the French Air Force. It was also supplied to the Spanish Republican forces during the Spanish Civil War, but was almost out of service by the outbreak of World War II.
|First flight||1 September 1934|
|Primary user||Armee de l'Air|
Design and development edit
The Loire 46 was an improved modification of two previous Loire fighters—the Loire 43 and 45. Although improved, it resembled the earlier machines retaining their gull mono-wing configuration, open cockpit, and fixed landing gear. The first of five prototype Loire 46s flew in September 1934. It demonstrated excellent handling characteristics and 60 production aircraft were ordered by the Armée de l'Air.
Operational history edit
By the beginning of World War II, the Loire 46's gull wing configuration was recognized as obsolete and most of these fighters had been relegated to Armée de l'Air training schools, where they were used as advanced trainers. However, one fighter Escadrille was still equipped with the Loire 46 during the early weeks of the war. Their performance against modern German fighters was predictable.
- Loire 46.01
- First Loire 46 prototype.
- Loire 46
- Single-seat fighter/trainer aircraft.
Specifications (Loire 46) edit
Data from The Complete Book of Fighters
- Crew: 1
- Length: 7.88 m (25 ft 10 in)
- Wingspan: 11.83 m (38 ft 10 in)
- Height: 4.13 m (13 ft 7 in)
- Wing area: 19.5 m2 (210 sq ft)
- Empty weight: 1,450 kg (3,197 lb)
- Gross weight: 2,100 kg (4,630 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Gnome-Rhône 14Kfs 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 694 kW (931 hp)
- Propellers: 3-bladed metal variable-pitch propeller
- Maximum speed: 370 km/h (230 mph, 200 kn)
- Range: 750 km (470 mi, 400 nmi)
- Service ceiling: 11,750 m (38,550 ft) 
- Rate of climb: 12 m/s (2,400 ft/min)
- Time to altitude: 3,000 m (9,843 ft) in 3 minutes 18 seconds
- Guns: 4× fixed forward-firing 7.5 mm (0.295 inch) MAC 1934 machine guns mounted in the wings
See also edit
Comparable and similar aircraft
- Taylor and Alexander 1969, pp. 106–107.
- Green and Swanborough 1994, p. 353.
- Donald 1997, p. 588.
- "Les chasseurs Loire 40/46" [The Loire 40/46 Fighters]. Le Album de Fanatique de l'Aviation (in French) (27): 2–5. November 1971. ISSN 0757-4169.
- Donald, David, ed. (1997). The encyclopedia of world aircraft (Updated ed.). Leicester, UK: Blitz Editions. ISBN 1-85605-375-X.
- Green, William; Swanborough, Gordon (1994). The Complete Book of Fighters. London: Salamander. ISBN 1-85833-777-1.
- Ledet, Michel (November 1993). "Le Loire 46 (1ère partie)". Avions: Toute l'aéronautique et son histoire (in French) (9): 20–27. ISSN 1243-8650.
- Ledet, Michel (December 1993). "Le Loire 46 (2ème partie)". Avions: Toute l'aéronautique et son histoire (in French) (10): 12–20. ISSN 1243-8650.
- Ledet, Michel (January 1994). "Le Loire 46 (3ème partie)". Avions: Toute l'aéronautique et son histoire (in French) (11): 7–9. ISSN 1243-8650.
- Mombeek, Eric (May 2001). "Les trésors de Cazaux" [The Treasures of Cazaux]. Avions: Toute l'Aéronautique et son histoire (in French) (98): 44–47. ISSN 1243-8650.
- Moulin, Jacques (2004). Loire 43, 45 & 46: les chasseurs Loire-Nieuport. Document'air. Vol. 3. n.p.: Avia Editions. ISBN 978-2-915030-07-5.
- Taylor, John W.R.; Alexander, Jean (1969). Combat aircraft of the world. London: Ebury P.; Michael Joseph. ISBN 0-71810-564-8.
- Parmentier, Bruno (18 May 1998). "Loire 46". Aviafrance (in French). Retrieved 24 December 2019.