Potez 452

The Potez 452 was a French flying boat designed and built by the French aircraft company Potez in response to a French Navy specification for a shipboard reconnaissance machine for use on its battleships and cruisers.

Potez 452
Potez 45 prototype
Role Naval reconnaissance aircraft
Manufacturer Potez
First flight 1935
Introduction 1936
Retired 1944
Status Retired
Primary user French Navy (Battleship Lorraine)
Number built 16


The design requirements included the ability for launch by a catapult or from the sea. In addition, the wings were required to fold to simplify storage aboard ship. It first flew in 1935, and after satisfactory flight trials, it began equipping French ships a year later. Only sixteen Potez 452s were built. The Spanish Navy also expressed interest, which resulted in Spain acquiring a manufacturing license.[1] Spain built no aircraft.

Operational history

The Potez 452 was active as a reconnaissance aircraft during the early months of World War II. During that time there was no significant naval action in the Mediterranean where most of the French Navy was operating. After the French capitulation to Germany in June 1940, these aircraft continued to serve with their ships and as part of Vichy France's military, briefly engaged their former ally Great Britain. Other Potez 452s were deployed to French colonies in French Indochina, which included reconnaissance duty in the 1940–1941 Franco-Thai War between the Vichy French controlled colonies and Thailand and some remained in service until 1944, by which time the final survivors were retired. In 1937 a single Potez 452 had been supplied to the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service for evaluation as the Potez HXP1.


Potez 450
Prototype flying-boat with a 170 kW (230 hp) Salmson 9Ab engine, one built
Potez 452
Production variant with a 260 kW (350 hp) Hispano-Suiza 9Qd engine, 48 built.
Potez 453
Floatplane fighter derived from the 452, powered by a 540 kW (720 hp) Hispano-Suiza 14Hbs. A single prototype was built, first flown on 24 September 1935.



Specifications (Potez 452)

Data from War Planes of the Second World War:Volume Five Flying Boats [2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 10.230 m (33 ft 6 34 in)
  • Wingspan: 12.995 m (42 ft 7 58 in)
  • Height: 3.400 m (11 ft 1 78 in)
  • Wing area: 24.30 m2 (261.6 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 1,102 kg (2,429 lb)
  • Gross weight: 1,701 kg (3,751 lb) (catapult launch)
  • Max takeoff weight: 1,750 kg (3,858 lb) (water takeoff)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Hispano-Suiza 9Qd 9-cylinder air-cooled radial enginee, 260 kW (350 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 217 km/h (135 mph, 117 kn) at 2,980 kg (6,560 lb)
  • Endurance: 5 hr 10 min
  • Service ceiling: 5,500 m (18,040 ft)
  • Time to altitude: 7 min 15 s to 2,000 m (6,560 ft)


  • Guns: One 7.5 mm (0.295 inch) machine gun mounted in flexible position in rear cockpit

See also

Related lists


  1. "French flying boats and amphibians | Let Let Let – Warplanes". letletlet-warplanes.com. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
  2. Green, William. War Planes of the Second World War: Volume Five Flying Boats. London:Macdonald, 1968. ISBN 0-356-01449-5. p. 41.
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