The French-originated Arsenal-Delanne 10 prototype fighter featured a rather unique wing biplane wing arrangement, seating the pair in tandem.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Credit: Image from the Public Domain.
Credit: Image from the Public Domain.
French aero-industry suffered mightily after the Fall of France in June of 1940 and did not recover fully until the 1950s and 1960s. Many in-development aircraft projects were either destroyed, cancelled or taken over by the German conquerors. One such example to fall to the latter fate was the Arsenal-Delanne 10 (Model 10), a unique fighter-type development that was in-the-works by the time of the German invasion of France during World War 2 (1939-1945).
Design work on the Model 10 is attributed to Maurice Delanne with Arsenal de l'Aeronautique providing its production services concerning the prototype. In this way, the aircraft came to carry both the names of the company as well as the designer.
The Model 10 was certainly a strange-looking airplane for it attempted a unique wing mainplane arrangement (tandem-mounted, or 'Nenadovich' configuration) that made it technically categorized as a "biplane". One set of mainplanes was fitted forward of midships and over the fuselage, supported by parallel struts emanating from the low sides of the fuselage. A second set of mainplanes was featured at the aft end of the fuselage (where horizontal tailplanes would have been traditionally held) and mid-mounted along the fuselage sides. To these planes were added vertical surfaces at the wingtips for additional stability and control. One other unique facet of the Model 10's design was the placement of the two-seat cockpit (tandem seating) - this at the extreme aft-end of the fuselage and under heavy framing. Its location was intended to provide the best possible vision for the rear gunner as it theoretically offered a commanding view of the action behind the aircraft.
All other characteristics of the aircraft were consistent with the period - enclosed cockpit, front-mounted engine driving a propeller and all-metal construction.
As built, the Model 10 sported an overall length of 24 feet, a wingspan of 33.1 feet and a height of 9.9 feet. Power was from a single Hispano-Suiza 12Ycrs liquid-cooled V12 engine outputting 860 horsepower and driving a three-bladed propeller at the nose.
Proposed armament was 1 x 20mm cannon in a fixed, forward-firing mounting in the fuselage along with 2 x 7.5mm MAC 1934 machine guns fitted on set of wings (it is unknown which wing structure would have carried the wing-mounted machine guns). The rear gunner would have had access to 2 x 7.5mm MAC 1934 machine guns fitted to a flexible mounting for training the guns onto targets attempting to approach the fighter from the rear. The armament suite was never fitted to the prototype.
The Model 10 prototype (Model 10-C2) was nearing completion at the Arsenal facility in Villacoublay outside of Paris when the German Army rolled into the area and claimed the work during June of 1940. As such, from that period onwards, work was allowed to continue on the fighter but the project had lost its energy for the French engineers. A first-flight was finally had, this during October of 1941, and the flight testing schedule was allowed to see completion. Sometime during July of 1943 the sole specimen was transferred by DFS to German soil for what is perceived to be additional testing and evaluation. It does not appear that any additional notable work on the design was had from then on.
As tested, the Model 10 was able to reach speeds of 342 miles per hour and fly for up to 1.5 hours. Its service ceiling reached 32,810 feet.
Status Retired, Out-of-Service
[ 1 Units ] : Arsenal de l'Aeronautique / Maurice Delanne - France
France (cancelled); Nazi Germany (cancelled)
- X-Plane / Developmental
24.05 ft (7.33 m)
33.17 ft (10.11 m)
9.84 ft (3 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the Arsenal-Delanne 10 production model)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Arsenal-Delanne 10 production model)
1 x Hispano-Suiza 12Ycrs liquid-cooled V12 engine developed 860 horsepower.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the Arsenal-Delanne 10 production model)
342 mph (550 kph; 297 kts)
32,808 feet (10,000 m; 6.21 miles)
513 miles (825 km; 445 nm)
2,525 ft/min (770 m/min)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Arsenal-Delanne 10 production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
1 x 20mm cannon
2 x 7.5mm MAC 1934 machine guns in wings (one per wing).
2 x 7.5mm MAC 1934 machine guns on trainable mounting in rear cockpit.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Arsenal-Delanne 10 production model)
Model 10 - Base Series Designation; single flyable prototype completed.
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