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Sud-Ouest / SNCASE SE 580

Fighter / Fighter-Bomber Prototype Aircraft

Sud-Ouest / SNCASE SE 580

Fighter / Fighter-Bomber Prototype Aircraft


The Sud-Ouest SE.580 was in development during World War 2 but cancelled in 1947 with the arrival of the jet age.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: France
YEAR: 1946
STATUS: Cancelled
MANUFACTURER(S): Sud-Ouest / SNCASE / Dewoitine - France
OPERATORS: France (cancelled)

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Sud-Ouest SE 580 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 42.65 feet (13 meters)
WIDTH: 52.00 feet (15.85 meters)
HEIGHT: 9.84 feet (3 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 11,244 pounds (5,100 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 17,924 pounds (8,130 kilograms)
ENGINE: EARLY: 2 x Hispano-Suiza 12Z engines (tandem) driving contra-rotating propellers; ORIGINAL: 1 x Hispano-Suiza 24Z engine developing 3,600 horsepower driving six-bladed contra-rotating propeller at the nose; LATER: 1 x Arsenal 24H engine developing 4,000 horsepower and driving five-bladed propeller at the nose.
SPEED (MAX): 373 miles-per-hour (600 kilometers-per-hour; 324 knots)
RANGE: 1,709 miles (2,750 kilometers; 1,485 nautical miles)
CEILING: 44,619 feet (13,600 meters; 8.45 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 3,280 feet-per-minute (1,000 meters-per-minute)

1 x 30mm cannon firing through the propeller hub.
4 x 20mm cannons in wings (two per wing).
8 x 7.5mm machine guns in wings (four per wing).

Up to 1,102lb of drop stores across two underwing hardpoints (one per wing).
Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition

Series Model Variants
• SE.580 - Base Series Designation; a single partially-completed prototype was made.
• SE.580R - Proposed reconnaissance model fitting camera equipment in the fuselage.
• SE.582 - Proposed navailized fighter version for the French Navy.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Sud-Ouest / SNCASE SE 580 Fighter / Fighter-Bomber Prototype Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 8/7/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
French aero-industry faced all manner of disruption with the arrival of World War 2 in 1939. With the fall of France in May-June of 1940, many projects were cancelled, shelved or turned over to the Germans for the foreseeable future. The SNCASE / Sud-Est SE.580, arriving as a potential high-powered fighter for the French Air Force and Navy services, was one product that managed to eke out an existence prior to, during and after the war. However, technical issues and outside influences soon doomed the project as the 1940s wound down.

The SE.580 began life from design studies undertaken by SNCAM in 1940 and was then known as the M.580. When the company was taken over by SNCASE (Sud-Est), the designation was revised to become SE.580. Work on the product was slow due to the German invasion and much slower during the occupation period. Wind tunnel testing was finally had in 1943 and, at this stage, the aircraft was envisioned to possess a pair of Hispano-Suiza 12Z series engines seated in line and driving a contra-rotating propeller unit at the nose. Beyond this, the aircraft was given modern features such as a retractable undercarriage, enclosed cockpit and low-set monoplane wings. All-metal construction would greet its makeup while control surfaces were be finished in fabric. A major design element proving unconventional to aircraft of the age was a large dorsal scoop positioned immediately behind the cockpit to cool the radiator fit. Excess air would be exhausted through a ventral port.

As the SE.580 was to fulfill the role of dedicated fighter, able to match toe-to-toe against anything the Germans possessed at this stage, the aircraft would be armed through 1 x 30mm automatic cannon firing through the propeller hub and 4 x 20mm automatic cannons (2 per wing) coupled with 8 x 7.5mm machine guns (4 per wing) found at each wing. This armament battery was rather considerable when compared to contemporaries and gave the fighter a viable punch against enemy fighters and larger bomber types. There was also provision had for underwing hardpoints (one per wing) to which each station could manage up to 1,100lb in conventional drop ordnance.

During development, the decision was made to move on from the proposed tandem engine arrangement to a single engine installation. This became the Hispano-Suiza 24Z (24-cylinder) engine of 3,600 horsepower output (the contra-rotating propeller was still in play).

From this promising work emerged a French Air Force contract for two prototypes and this was followed for a separate commitment by the French Navy for another pair of aircraft to trial as the SE.582. With the end of the war coming in 1945, work on the SE.580 series continued into 1946 though technical issues with the intended engine fit forced engineers to select the Arsenal 24H series engine of 4,000 horsepower output in its place. This inevitably led to alterations being forced on the fuselage to accommodate the new powerplant and the contra-rotating propellers were given up in favor of a simpler single five-bladed unit. Despite the work already had on the design, these issues as well as the rise of jet-powered military fighters, led to the cancellation of the SE.580/SE.582 in 1947.

As designed, the SE.580 had estimated performance figures that included a maximum speed of 465 miles per hour (30,500 feet), a service ceiling of 44,620 feet, a range out to 1,710 miles and a rate-of-climb nearing 3,280 feet-per-minute.


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.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (373mph).

Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Sud-Ouest SE 580's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (1)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
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
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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