Arsenal VG 33

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In 1936, the Air Force issued specifications for a light fighter timber that can be built quickly in large quantities. It results in 1937. A.23 card program VG.30 Arsenal, the Caudron C.714 and the Bloch 700 were ordered as prototypes. A model of VG.30, already under study, was presented at the International Exhibition in Paris in the summer of 1936. 


Returning to a wooden construction, it was hoped to have abundant material, easy to work and in scattered places, so little vulnerable to shelling. It was just the opposite happened: the necessary essences were only available abroad (Red Spruce, or red spruce, Canada) and supply suffered in.

The VG.30 Vernisse and was designed by Jean Gaultier, who gave their initials to the designation of the aircraft. The VG.30 was made of plywood, with a semi-monocoque construction. He was armed with a gun HS.404 20mm (firing through the propeller hub) and 4 machine guns MAC 1934 (model 39) of 7.5 mm in the wings.

The planned engine Potez 12DC was a 12 cylinder in-line 610 hp, liquid-cooled. It is difficult to develop, the Hispano-Suiza 12Xcrs engine, developing 690 horsepower was installed on the prototype, built from the summer of 1937.

This one flew the first (some sources say 15) in October 1938. Its official tests, between 24 March and 17 July 1939, showed good performance. It was followed by the VG-31 (Hispano-Suiza 12Y-31 of 860 horses reduced scale), which was never built after demonstrating, in the wind tunnel, it would be extremely unstable. The VG-32 (Allison V-1710C-15 1400 hp, which required lengthening the fuselage by 42 cm), which was captured by the Germans in Villacoublay in 1940 before its first flight. It was equipped with two 20 mm guns and two machine guns, and 400 aircraft were to be produced from December 1940. American Motors could not be delivered before the armistice.

The VG-33, which incorporated the fuselage and engine VG-31 and VG-wing 30, took the air on 25 April 1939. It was tested on 11 June 1939 until March 1940. His performances were such (speed of 560 km / h reached) he was ordered to 220 copies on September 12, then to 820 copies. Cell production itself did not take long to start, but the lack of engines made very few copies were ready on time. The expected rate of 350 aircraft per month could not be held.

The first production aircraft flew 21 April 1940. The first deliveries should start in November 1939. Officially, 10 were considered by the Air Force.

167 copies were about to be finished during the Armistice. 19 units were completed and seven, in any case, were engaged in the GC 1/55 June 18 His operational career lasted only one week, during which he would have accomplished 36 missions. It is estimated that beat the Bf-109E-3 in speed and maneuverability, and he yielded to the armament. Wood construction would have given him a short life.

One can always dream that the Luftwaffe would have suffered if the VG.33 was manufactured in large quantities and on time. He was better than the D.520, with its neat aerodynamics. A copy was requisitioned by the Luftwaffe, which tested the Rechlin. The others were destroyed during the German advance.

He was followed by three prototypes flew in 1940: the VG-34 with the 12Y-45 engine of 960 horsepower (January 20), the VG-35 with a 12Y-51 engine 1000 horsepower (25 February), and VG-36, the radiator resembled that of the P-51 (May 14).

VG-37 was a longer version of operating range of VG-36 and VG-38 was equipped with the 12Y-motor 77 and a Brown-Boveri turbocharger. Neither was only built.

The VG-39, it was built to a copy which flew on May 3, 1939. It was powered by a 12Y-89 engine 1200 horsepower. Its fuselage was redesigned. He reached a speed of 625 km / h with 2 additional machine guns. The production version, the VG-39bis, had engine Hispano-Suiza 12Z-17 1600 hp and radiator VG-36, she remained in draft form.

3 other projects followed, the first two of which were based on the VG-39bis: VG-40 with a Merlin III engine and an enlarged flange, the VG-50 with a V-engine Allison 1710-1739 and finally the VG-60 engine Hispano-Suiza 12Y-51 1000 hp, with a Sidlowsky-Planiol two-stage compressor.



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