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Bernard 260 (Model 260)

Monoplane Fighter Prototype

France | 1932

"The Bernard 260 was a promising French monoplane design but did not do enough to convince authorities in the pre-World War 2 period."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Bernard Model 260 Monoplane Fighter Prototype.
1 x Hispano-Suiza 12Xbrs 12-cylinder liquid-cooled piston engine developing 690 horsepower driving a fixed-pitch metal propeller unit at the nose.
233 mph
375 kph | 202 kts
Max Speed
33,629 ft
10,250 m | 6 miles
Service Ceiling
497 miles
800 km | 432 nm
Operational Range
1,095 ft/min
334 m/min
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Bernard Model 260 Monoplane Fighter Prototype.
25.6 ft
7.80 m
O/A Length
41.2 ft
(12.55 m)
O/A Width
12.8 ft
(3.90 m)
O/A Height
2,998 lb
(1,360 kg)
Empty Weight
4,123 lb
(1,870 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Bernard 260 (Model 260) Monoplane Fighter Prototype .
2 x 7.7mm Vickers Machine Guns mounted at the wings (one gun to a wing member).
Notable series variants as part of the Bernard 260 (Model 260) family line.
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.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/30/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

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.

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Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Bernard 260 (Model 260). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1 Units

Contractor(s): Societe des Avions Bernard (S.A.B.) - France
National flag of France

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Image of the Bernard 260 (Model 260)
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Going Further...
The Bernard 260 (Model 260) Monoplane Fighter Prototype appears in the following collections:
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