LOIRE

Les Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire, shipbuilders of St Nazaire, purchased Gourdou et Leseurre 1925, continuing production and development of latter's Type 32 fighter, now called LGL 32. LGL 33 and 34 had various different engines. L 2 shipboard seaplane (420-hp Jupiter) was followed by Loire 11 3-seat Type Colonial (1930) and Type 30 night recon monoplane (3 x 230-hp Salmson, 1932). Loire 43 fighter with high gull wing (17 October 1932) led via 45 to Loire 46 (1 September 1934) of which 60 for Armée de l’Air 1936-7 (5 clandestine to Republican Spain). Type 50 3-seat flying-boat (1931) led to 6 501 for Aéronavale. Type 60 and much bigger 70 flying-boats all had 1 pusher and 2 tractor engines, while 102 had 2 push/pull pairs and 130 (150 built) 1 pusher. Type 210 fighter seaplane (20 delivered 1939, 6 years after requirement) and 250 fighter landplane both first flew 1935. Gourdou et Leseurre was separated 1929, Loire opening new design office and test centre at La Baule-Escoublac. In 1933 Nieuport-Astra left SGA group and joined Loire, whose St Nazaire factory made profit from building Dewoitine 500/501/510 and Bloch 200. In 1936 nationalized into SNCAO, while designing Loire-Nieuport 161 fighter and 40 series dive-bomber (June 1938). Latter led to 40 LN.401 for Aéronavale and 40 LN.411 for Armée de l’Air; almost all shot down May 1940, but about 100 built by SNCASO (into which SNCAO merged 1941) at Issy les Moulineaux 1941-2. St Nazaire made major contribution to He 111 programme and also produced Ar 196A-3.

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