Societe des Avions Bernard (S.A.B.) proposed its Bernard 260 (Model 260) single-seat, single-engine metal monoplane aircraft design against a 1931 French Air Force fighter requirement. The specification called for an all-modern, land-based solution weighing under 4,000lb and able to reach speeds of up to 215 miles-per-hour at altitude. The proposed fighter did not satisfy the government requirement and only two were built - of which only one flew.
The Model 260, designed by Sigismond-Georges Bruner, utilized a standard Interwar Period configuration involving a low-mounted monoplane wing planform. The members were set along the sides of the forward fuselage with the open-air cockpit positioned slightly ahead of midships. The engine was installed at its usual place in the nose driving a two-bladed propeller in puller fashion. The tail unit incorporated a simple single-finned arrangement and the undercarriage was wheeled and fixed while being of the tail-dragger arrangement.
Proposed armament was 2 x 7.7mm Vickers Machine Guns (air-cooled), the units installed under the wings - though the updated requirement eventually specified 4 x 7.7mm machine guns or 2 x 20mm automatic cannons or a mix of the two to deal with rising threats of the day.
For power, the fighter relied on a Hispano-Suiza 12Xbrs 12-cylinder, liquid-cooled piston engine developing 690 horsepower driving a fixed-pitch metal propeller unit.
A first-flight of the completed prototype form - the "Model 260 C.1" - was had during September of 1932. During testing, various radiator mountings and styles were trialed for adequate cooling measures. The aircraft was well-streamlined and sported leading-edge slats / trailing edge flaps at its mainplane members for enhanced lifting and control. Resulting performance included a maximum speed of 234 miles-per-hour, a range out to 500 miles, and a service ceiling of 33,660 feet. Time to 9,840 feet was 4 minutes and 20 seconds.
As built, the aircraft has a length of 25.6 feet, a wingspan of 41.1 feet, and a height of 12.9 feet. Empty weight was 3,000lb with a gross weight of 4,120lb.
The C.1 prototype was tested over some 100 hours under various conditions and in various actions. Issues with cooling and performance/control limitations - along with internal company issues - appeared to have plagued the proposed fighter during this time. As such, it did not proceed past the testing stage for French authorities settled on the competing Dewoitine D.500 monoplane fighter instead (detailed elsewhere on this site).
The same Model 260 program eventually begat the proposed Model 261 offshoot which attempted to enhance power / performance through the fitting of the uprated Hispano-Suiza 12Ybrs engine of 860 horsepower. Another modification to the design was the installation of a modern retractable undercarriage. Yet another related variant offshoot became the Model 262 proposed as a carrier-based fighter solution but it was not furthered.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Air-to-Air Combat, Fighter
General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.
✓X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.
Inherent ability of airframe to take considerable damage.
Can accelerate to higher speeds than average aircraft of its time.
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
EXTENDED RANGE PERFORMANCE
Capability to travel considerable distances through onboard fuel stores.
Design covers the three all-important performance categories of speed, altitude, and range.
Manual process of allowing its pilot and / or crew to exit in the event of an airborne emergency.
25.6 ft (7.80 m)
41.2 ft (12.55 m)
12.8 ft (3.90 m)
2,998 lb (1,360 kg)
4,123 lb (1,870 kg)
+1,124 lb (+510 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Bernard Model 260 production variant)
monoplane / low-mounted / straight
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are low-mounted along the sides of the fuselage.
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the Bernard Model 260 production variant)
1 x Hispano-Suiza 12Xbrs 12-cylinder liquid-cooled piston engine developing 690 horsepower driving a fixed-pitch metal propeller unit at the nose.
2 x 7.7mm Vickers Machine Guns mounted at the wings (one gun to a wing member).
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 0
Model 260 - Base Series Prototype; single example completed and flown.
Model 261 - Fitted with Hispano-Suiza 12Ybrs engine of 861 horsepower and retractable undercarriage; not completed.
Model 262 - Proposed navalized form with arrestor hook component.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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