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Amiot 143 Bomber (1935)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 2/21/2011

The Amiot 143 was wholly inadequate by the time of the German invasions throughout Europe.

The Amiot 143 of the French Air Force represented an evolution in the Amiot piston-engine bomber series that replaced the Amiot 140 of 1931. First flying in 1935, the Amiot 143 system was an unspectacular design whose time had passed in the inter-war years. With the newfound technological advancements and changing face of warfare, the Amiot series could do very little in the way of stopping the German invasions of the Low Countries and of France itself.

The Amiot 143 was a twin-engine bomber with a full compliment of 4 to 6 personnel. Design of quite unconventional. The system appeared as an amalgam of World War One and World War Two technologies with the boxy fuselage housing an underside windowed gondola. Engines were mounted high on the monoplane wings and landing gear structures were covered and static.

Armament was strictly defensive in the bomber role and amounted to an array of 4 x 7.5mm (.303 caliber) machine guns throughout the aircraft. One such machine gun was mounted in a nose turret whilst another was mounted in a dorsal turret. Two additional machine guns were placed in a fore and aft ventral gondola position. Machine guns were of the MAC 1934 type. This defensive array was awfully underpowered when compared to the fighters and bombers being fielded by the Axis powers. An internal and external bombload was possible and amounted to 3,527lbs of ordnance.

As expected, the obsolescent Amiot 134 faired poorly against the tide of German advance. Losses were terrible and for the four French squadrons fielding the outdated system so much so that the aircraft was relegated to a limited night-flying bombing campaign. With the fall of France ensured, the Amiot 143 series now fell into Axis hands and were later fielded with the Vichy French Air Force groups.

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Specifications for the
Amiot 143

Focus Model: Amiot 143
Country of Origin: France
Manufacturer: Amiot - France
Initial Year of Service: 1935
Production: 154

Crew: 4 - 6

Length: 59.91 ft (18.26 m)
Width: 80.48 ft (24.53 m)
Height: 18.64ft (5.68 m)
Weight (Empty): 13,448 lb (6,100 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 21,385 lb (9,700 kg)

Powerplant: 2 x Gnome-Rhone Kirs 14-cylinder radial engines generating 870hp each.

Maximum Speed: 193 mph (310kmh; 167 kts)
Maximum Range: 1,243 miles (2,000km)
Service Ceiling: 25,919 ft (7,900 m; 4.9 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 0 feet-per-minute (0 m/min)

Hardpoints: 2
Armament Suite:
1 x 7.5mm MAC 1934 machine gun in nose turret
1 x 7.5mm MAC 1934 machine gun in dorsal turret
1 x 7.5mm MAC 1934 machine gun in fore ventral gondola
1 x 7.5mm MAC 1934 machine gun in aft ventral gondola

Maximum internal and external bomb loadout of 3,527lbs.

Amiot 140 - Initial Production Model Version of 1931.

Amiot 143 - Re-engined Production Model Version of 1935.

France; Vichy France