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Designed in 1936 and built on its own funds by the manufacturer Émile Dewoitine, the first prototype of the D.520 flew on October 2, 1938; It was followed by a second machine which took off in April 1939. Despite some problems, the prototypes of the D.520 achieved remarkable performances, notably in the fields of level speed, climbing speed and Maneuverability. This was by far the best hunter produced by France before the armistice of 1940.

Monoplane with low wings and retractable landing gear, the D.520 was ordered in large quantities, but by January 1940 only 13 had left the assembly lines. On May 10 of the same year, a single group of the Air Force flew on this type of aircraft. Arrived in the squadrons from 1 February 1940, only 36 were in service on 10 May 1940, a number quite insufficient to face the all powerful Luftwaffe. Nevertheless, he abducted nearly 150 enemy aircraft for a loss of 85. The production of the aircraft continued under the Vichy regime and reached more than 700 aircraft.

This modern and brilliant single-seater fighter, produced until December 1942, was also used by the Germans and equip the aviation of its Romanian, Italian and Bulgarian allies. Indeed when the Germans invaded the unoccupied zone in France in November 1942, they seized more than 400 Dewoitine D.520. Most of these aircraft were used by the Luttwaffe as training chasers, but 60 D.520 were delivered to Italy. The latter, lacking in-line engines, immediately took on board these machines, which entered into service as Gruppi's 13, 22, 24 and 167 second-line fighters, who actively participated in the defense of Naples and Central Italy.

In 1944 the Group of Hunt 1/8 was reformed and equipped with about forty of these "Dewoitine with black crosses". Unable to fight last generation aircraft, they were used against the German pockets of the Atlantic. Produced with 907 copies for the French Air Force including 403 before the armistice, the D 520 was therefore one of the few aircraft to have been used from the beginning to the end of the war.

Specifications : 

Model: Dewoitine D.520   
Wingspan: 10.18 m
Length: 8.76 m
Height: 2.56 m
Engine: 1 engine Hispano-Suiza 12Y in V
Total power: 1 x 910 hp.
Armament: 1 gun of 20 mm
4 machine guns of 7.7mm
Payload : -
Weight in load: 2780 kg
Max. : 529 km / h at 6000 m
Practical ceiling: 11000 m
Max. : 998 Km
Crew: 1

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