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WORLD WAR 2

Dewoitine D.520


Monoplane Fighter Aircraft (1939)


Aviation / Aerospace

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The Dewoitine D.520 was arguably the best fighter available to the French at the time of the Battle of France concerning World War 2.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/15/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
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The Dewoitine D.520 was a single seat piston-engine fighter designed and built for the French Air Force. Developed from lessons learned in their ill-fated D.513 design, Dewoitine produced a fighter of sleek design and acceptable capability, especially when compared to that of the German Luftwaffe - to which the D.520 squared off valiantly yet unsuccessfully in the Fall of France in 1940. Despite this, the D.520 was generally respected and use continued by the Vichy French Air Force and even in post-war France. The D.520 signified France's first successful and best "modern" fighter design of World War 2.

Design work on the D.520 began as early as 1936, with the first prototypes flying by 1938. Beyond some design modifications and differing engine types (all from the Hispano-Suiza line) the models varied little. From the D520.1 prototype, the base D.520 series was born and ordered up for production by 1939, with the system being fielded by 1940 - to which only some 36 had actually been delivered when the Germans invaded. The D.520 reportedly squared up well against its German counterparts though success in the defense of France was not to be. Some 114 enemy kills were made at a loss of 85 French D.520's before the eventual collapse of the aerial defense. The system stayed in production with the German-sided Vichy French Air Force and was still available in some numbers after the war.
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At its core, the D.520 was a basic straight-line fighter most noted for its sleek overall design and set-back cockpit of which was enclosed canopy. The position of the cockpit so far away from the nose undoubtedly took away from the pilots visibility forward and down but the added room in the nose made for an easier engine (which featured a variable-pitch propeller system) and armament installation. Armament consisted of a nose-mounted 20mm cannon and 4 x 7.5mm machine guns, with two machine guns per wing leading edge. Trailing edge flaps were also instituted into the wing design. A single vertical tail surface adorned the empennage and retractable landing gears rounded out the features.

Specifications



Service Year
1939

Origin
France national flag graphic
France

Status
RETIRED
Not in Service.
Crew
1

Production
881
UNITS


Dewoitine - France
National flag of Bulgaria National flag of France National flag of modern Germany National flag of Nazi Germany National flag of Italy National flag of the Kingdom of Italy National flag of Romania Bulgaria; France (Free France / Vichy France); Nazi Germany; Kingdom of Italy; Romania
(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.


Length
28.7 ft
(8.76 m)
Width/Span
33.5 ft
(10.20 m)
Height
8.4 ft
(2.56 m)
Empty Wgt
4,612 lb
(2,092 kg)
MTOW
6,151 lb
(2,790 kg)
Wgt Diff
+1,539 lb
(+698 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Dewoitine D.520 production variant)
Installed: 1 x Hispano-Suiza 12Y-45 12-cylinder V-type engine developing 930 horsepower.
Max Speed
336 mph
(540 kph | 292 kts)
Ceiling
36,089 ft
(11,000 m | 7 mi)
Range
957 mi
(1,540 km | 2,852 nm)


♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030


(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Dewoitine D.520 production variant. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database. View aircraft by powerplant type)
STANDARD:
1 x 20mm HS 404 cannon in nose
4 x 7.5mm machine guns in wings


Supported Types


Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft automatic cannon


(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 0


D520.1 - Prototype Model Designation; initial prototype fitted with Hispano-Suiza 12Y-21 inline engine; additional prototypes features slight modifications to various design elements including the canopy and wing; second prototype fitted with Hispano-Suiza 12Y-51 engine; third prototype fitted with Hispano-Suiza 12Y-31 engine of 890 horsepower.
D.520 - Main Series Designation; fitted with either Hispano-Suiza 12Y-45 or Hispano-Suiza 12Y-49 engines of 920 horsepower.
D.524 - Experimental Variant; fitted with Hispano-Suiza 12Y-89 engine of 1,200 horsepower.


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