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Levasseur PL.4

Carrier-based Reconnaissance Biplane Aircraft

Levasseur PL.4

Carrier-based Reconnaissance Biplane Aircraft

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The French Navy took on a stock of forty Levasseur PL.4 biplanes for the maritime reconnaissance role.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: France
YEAR: 1926
MANUFACTURER(S): Levasseur - France
PRODUCTION: 41
OPERATORS: France
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Levasseur PL.4 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 3
LENGTH: 31.73 feet (9.67 meters)
WIDTH: 47.90 feet (14.6 meters)
HEIGHT: 12.63 feet (3.85 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 3,748 pounds (1,700 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 5,842 pounds (2,650 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Lorraine-Dietrich 12Eb engine developing 450 horsepower.
SPEED (MAX): 111 miles-per-hour (178 kilometers-per-hour; 96 knots)
RANGE: 559 miles (900 kilometers; 486 nautical miles)
CEILING: 16,404 feet (5,000 meters; 3.11 miles)




ARMAMENT



None.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• PL.4 - Base Series Designation
• PL.4 A3 R3b - Prototype designation; single example.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Levasseur PL.4 Carrier-based Reconnaissance Biplane Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 11/3/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The Levasseur concern, established by Frenchman Pierre Lavasseur, managed several aircraft products that were adopted by the French Navy throughout the early 1900s and this included the Levasseur PL.4, a maritime reconnaissance platform based on the earlier PL.2, itself a naval torpedo-bomber design. The PL.4 was given a traditional biplane-winged arrangement which featured single bays and apparel struts. The undercarriage was of a conventional "tail-dragger" design with the main legs wheeled and the tail supported by a simple skid. The crew of three was seated inline across three separate open-air cockpits. A first-flight was had in 1926 and the type went on to be adopted by the French Navy to serve on FS Bearn, a conventionally-powered aircraft carrier commissioned in 1927.

The PL.4 was given certain qualities about it to better perform its overwater role: should the crew have to bail the aircraft, the fuselage was given a boat-like hull design and floats were installed under the lower wing assembly. Additionally the undercarriage could be jettisoned prior to crash landing - these features intended to give the crew a fighting chance at surviving a crash.

About forty of the type were produced with the French Navy becoming its sole global operator. The sole prototype used to prove the design sound was the PL.4 A3 R3b.

As completed the aircraft exhibited a length of 9.7 meters, a wingspan of 14.6 meters and a height of 3.8 meters. Empty weight was 1,700 kg against a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 5,800 kg. Power was from a Lorraine-Dietrich 12Eb series engine developing a healthy 450 horsepower output and driving a two-bladed propeller unit at the nose. Performance specs included a maximum speed of 111 miles per hour, a range out to 560 miles and a service ceiling reaching 16,400 feet.




MEDIA









Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 120mph
Lo: 60mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (111mph).

    Graph average of 90 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
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  NYC
Graph showcases the Levasseur PL.4's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
41
41

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


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Supported Roles
A2A
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MEDEVAC
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A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
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* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.