Postwar airliner history in France

In the postwar years France developed a few significant airliners, some of these being planes that could land on water, part of the reason that the French companies were so focused on these flying boats is that in 1936 the French Air Ministry requested transatlantic flying boats that could hold at least 40 passengers. Only one model from this request would ever be put into service. The first set of these were three Latecoere 631's that Air France purchased and put into service in July 1947. However, two of these planes crashed, and the third plane was soon removed because of safety concerns. There would later be a SNCASE SE.161 Languedoc build, which was a much more successful plane, and over 100 of these were built, with 40 of them being placed into service through Air-France.[4] The French also developed the Breguet 763 Deux Ponts, which first flew in February 1949. This was a double-decker transport airliner that would end up being used for both people and cargo. This four-engine airliner would end up being used to hold large amounts of cargo or 97 passengers. After a long silence, France then created the Caravelle, the world's first short-to-midrange jet airliner. Subsequent French efforts were part of the Airbus pan-European initiative. The Sud Aviation SE 210 Caravelle was the first short/medium-range jet airliner produced by the French Sud Aviation firm starting in 1955 (when it was still known as SNCASE). The Caravelle was one of the most successful European first generation jetliners, selling throughout Europe and even penetrating the United States market, with an order for 20 from United Airlines.[1] The Caravelle established the aft-mounted-engine, clean-wing design that has since been used on a wide variety of aircraft.[1] On 12 October 1951 the Comite du Materiel Civil (civil aircraft committee) published a specification for a medium range aircraft, which was later sent to the industry by the Direction Technique et Industrielle. This called for an aircraft carrying 55 to 65 passengers and 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) of cargo on routes up to 2,000 km (1,100 nm ; 1,200 mi) with a cruise speed about 600 km/h (320 kn; 370 mph). The type and number of engines was not specified. Various design studies for aircraft in this category had been underway since 1946 by several of the leading French aircraft manufacturing organisations, but none had the financial power to start construction.[1] Response from the French industry was strong, with every major manufacturer sending in at least one proposal, and a total of 20 different designs were received. Most of the proposals used all-turbojet power, although Breguet entered a number of designs for both turbojet and turboprop types; among these was one for an Atar-powered tri-jet to be developed in association with the SNCA du Nord and a turboprop type, all known as Br. 978. Hurel-Dubois entered several turboprop designs based on a narrow fuselage and shoulder mounted wing similar to many regional propliners. Proposals from the SNCA du Sud-Ouest included the S.O.60 with two Rolls-Royce Avon RA.7 engines, with two smaller Turbomeca Marbores as auxiliaries. SNCA du Sud-Est (SNCASE) returned a number of designs from the X-200 to X-210, all of them pure-jet.[1] After studying the various entries, the Comite du Materiel Civil cut the list to three entrants on 28 March 1952: the four-engined Avon/Marbore S.0.60, the twin-Avon Hurel-Dubois project, and the three-Avon Sud-Est X-210. At this point Rolls-Royce started offering a new version of the Avon that could develop 9,000 lbf (40 kN) thrust, making the auxiliary engines on the S.O.60 and the third engine on the X-210 unnecessary.[1] The Committee requested SNCASE re-submit the X-210 as a twin-Avon design. In doing so they decided not to bother moving the remaining engines from their rear-mounted position; most designs mounted the engines under the wing where they can be mounted on the spar for lower overall weight, but SNCASE felt the savings were not worth the effort. This turned out to be a benefit to the design, as the cabin noise was greatly reduced. The revised X-210 design with twin Avons was re-submitted to the SGACC in July 1952.