LATÉCOÈRE

Pierre Latécoère established Forges et Ateliers de Construction Latécoère May 1917, factory at Toulouse-Montaudron and office in Paris. Made over 800 Salmson 2A2 while producing Laté 1 2-seat fighter. Laté 3 postal and Laté 4 10-passenger airliner. Among many other early designs only Latécoère 15 was built in series, 9 of these 6-passenger machines (2 x 260-hp Lorraine) being used by Laté airline on Casablanca-Oran sector from 1925. First really successful design was Laté 17 5-passenger parasol monoplane (300-hp Renault), 24 built in various versions. Laté 21, 23, 32, 34 and 501 were airline flying-boats, with bad safety record, whereas production of Laté 25 (improved 17) reached 61, and no fewer than 90 made of Laté 26 mail version, and 62 of stretched 8-passenger Laté 28. In 1922 company renamed Société Industrielle d’Aviation Latécoère, and in 1936 nationalization lost part of Toulouse plant to SNCA du Midi. Laté 29.0 torpedo-bomber seaplanes led to series-produced Laté 298 of Second World War. Giant flying-boats included 30.0, 301 and 302, 380 series, 6-engined 521/522/523 series, 611 (prototype fought 1940 but survived to 1947) and 9 examples of enormous Latécoère 631. Company survived at Toulouse as design and manufacturing centre for airframe parts, missiles and spacecraft.

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