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The SEA IV was a French two-seat military aircraft of World War I and the immediate post-war era.

Development

The SEA IV was designed and built in 1917 by Henry Potez, Louis Coroller, and Marcel Bloch. It was a derivative of their previous SEA II design, equipped with a more powerful Lorraine engine of 261 kW (350 hp). It made its first flight during the first quarter of 1918, probably near Plessis-Belleville. It was initially tested by Gustave Douchy, a flying ace of 9 victories, then by the pilots of the Centre d'essais en Vol at Villacoublay. The "Ministère de l'Armement et des Fabrications de guerre" (Ministry of Armament and War Production) soon placed an order for 1,000 machines, making the SEA IV the first Dassault-designed aircraft to reach production.

Operational history

On August 24, 1918, General Duval, commander of Aéronavale at General Headquarters foresaw the need for two variants to equip the escadrilles at the beginning of 1919: the SEA IV A2 for observation and the SEA IV C2 for fighting. In October, General Headquarters ordered the commissioning of a flotilla to operate these aircraft, and therefore required production to reach 200 planes per month during the first quarter of 1919, to have a force of 400 on hand by April 1

The Armistice, however, meant that the initial order of 1,000 was cancelled, and in the end, only 115 examples were built. These C2s were used for a number of years by several escadrilles in the "Regiments d'Aviation" at Le Bourget.

A further 25 were built by Aéroplanes Henry Potez as the Potez VII, a luxury touring aircraft, and one further example formed the basis of a racing aircraft.

Operators

 France

Specifications (SEA IV C2)

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two, pilot and observer
  • Length: 8.50 m (27 ft 11 in)
  • Wingspan: 12.00 m (39 ft 4 in)
  • Height: 3.10 m (10 ft 2 in)
  • Wing area: 37.5 m² (403 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 1,015 kg (2,233 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 1,620 kg (3,564 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lorraine-Dietrich 12Da 10, 261 kW (350 hp)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 218 km/h (118 knots, 136 mph)
  • Range: 700 km (378 nm, 437 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 7,400 m (24,272 ft)

Armament

  • 1 × forward firing .303 Vickers machine gun
  • 2 × .303 Lewis guns in a flexible mount for the observer
  • See also

    References

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