Breguet Br.690 (Series) Ground Attack / Dive Bomber Aircraft
Like other useful combat aircraft for the French prior to the German invasion of World War 2, the Breguet 690 was primarily limited by low production figures.
Authored By Dan Alex; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The multi-crew, twin-engined heavy fighter / ground attack aircraft truly came into its own during the fighting of World War 2 (1939-1945) as there were many targets to be had both in the air and on the ground. Development of key aircraft of the war actually began prior to the conflict in the 1930s and this work produced such classics as the American P-38 "Lightning", the British DH.98 "Mosquito" and the German Messerschmitt Bf 110 (all detailed elsewhere on this site). The French did their part in attempting to acquire useful twin-engined heavy fighter designs and the Breguet 690 series was one product of the period.
The Breguet 690 emerged from a 1934 French Air Ministry requirement calling for a new three-seat, twin-engined, all-modern heavy fighter. Breguet engineers elected for an aircraft that exceeded the weight restrictions put forth by French authorities so the rights to the requirement were fulfilled by the competing Potez 630 series. Breguet persevered with their Bre.690, now as a private venture, and attempted to the French Air Force on the merits of a heavier, robust and multirole attack platform. The prototype was completed in 1937 but sat without its engines until 1938 when it finally flew for the first time on March 23rd, 1938.
The French Air Force liked what they saw in the fast and powerful Model 690 and were also keen on developments and doctrine concerning ground attack platforms elsewhere. The Breguet 690 seemed to fit the bill and the modern design was eventually adopted in June of 1938 through a 100-strong order for a two-seat light attack bomber variant under the "Bre.691 AB2" designation. The order only grew when war with Germany was becoming a certainty and modernization of French forces took precedent.