French Flying Boats of WWII

Published on
February 10, 2020
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Gerard Bousquet; Illustrated by Teodor Libiu Morosanu
Other Publication Information
hard cover, 232 pages, over 180 photos in B&W and 1 in Color, 85 color profiles
Product / Stock #

When one looks at French aircraft of the period immediately before and during World War Two, it is evident that there were two schools of thought when it came to aircraft design! One school was to design elegant, graceful and beautiful aircraft. The other was to see just how ugly they could make the airplane and it still fly and perform the duties it was designed for. This book is filled with examples of aircraft from both schools.

The book begins with a discussion of the main categories of French flying boats and what these categories entail. The “Croisiere” category is the very long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft with a range of 2100 to 2800 miles. The “Exploration” category was the long range maritime reconnaissance with a range of 1200 to 1900 miles. The last category, “Surveillance” had a range of up to 775 miles. Floatplanes are not discussed in this volume.

There is a short discussion of the state of French Naval aviation in 1939 along with some charts showing the types of aircraft in each category as well as each unit and the aircraft allotted then finishing out with comparison of seaplane losses between France and Germany in the last quarter of 1939.

The next 218 pages discuss each of the flying boats in alphabetical order by manufacturer and then in numerical order by designation from that manufacturer. Each of these individual aircraft sections gives an overview of the aircraft’s design/origin and operational history. These sections are also filled with many never before seen photos showing details of the beaching gear, launch rails and construction of these aircraft. The numerous and gorgeous color profiles are a joy to view and will provide a lot of inspiration to build models of some of these birds.

Models of most of the aircraft within this book are hard to find! I know that there have been three 1/48 kits of the Liore 130. Two in injection molded plastic (FM and Azur) and one in resin (POMK) but that is it for my favorite scale. I believe Azur has also done a 1/72 of the Potez 462 (How a pilot could see to fly this bird through all those struts, I will never know!) and that there are one or two kits of the Liore 130 in this scale as well. For the larger flying boats, there may be a 1/144 scale resin kit or two and in 1/72 there was a vacuform kit of the Breguet 521 Bizerte that is long out of production and the maker’s name escapes me. There may be a few more vacuform kits out there but the above is all that I am aware of.

I really enjoyed this book. I have always had a penchant for the oddball and lesser known aircraft of WWII and this book is filled with them! The author has really done his work to bring all of this information into one volume. The wealth of photo detail and color profiles alone makes this book worth the asking price! I can heartily recommend this book to anyone with an interest in WWII aviation, French aviation and to any modeler looking to build something from the road less traveled. If any of you fit into these categories, then buy this book you will not be disappointed!

Our thanks to Mushroom Model Publications for the review copy and my thanks to IPMS/USA for the review opportunity!


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