Lioré et Olivier LeO 45 Series

1st Flight 1937

Lioré-et-Olivier LeO 45 was a French medium bomber that was used during and after the Second World War.

It had been designed for the new Armée de l’air as a modern medium bomber capable of performing independent strategic operations, unlike the majority of previous French bombers.

Variants

LeO 45.01

First prototype, powered by two Hispano-Suiza 14AA-6 / Hispano-Suiza 14AA-7 radial piston engines.

LeO 451.01

The first LeO 45.01 prototype was redesignated, fitted with two Gnome-Rhone 14R engines.

LeO 451

Production version variously fitted with Gnome-Rhône 14N-48 / Gnome-Rhône 14N-49 or Gnome-Rhône 14N-38 / Gnome-Rhône 14N-39 or Gnome & Rhône 14N-46 / Gnome-Rhône 14N-47 engines

LeO 451C

Twelve LeO 451T aircraft were redesignated, used as mail transport aircraft for Air France.

LeO 451E2

Post-war flying laboratory, 11 modified.

LeO 451T

German-captured bombers modified for freight duty with seating for up to 17 troops, roughly 50 aircraft were modified.

LeO 453

Post-war conversion to high-speed transports and search-and-rescue aircraft, powered by two 895 kW (1,200 hp) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-67 engines, seating for 6 passengers, range 3,500 km (1,890 nm, 2,175 mi) at 400 km/h (215 knots, 250 mph) cruising speed, 40 modified.

LeO 454

Bristol Hercules II engines, one prototype left unfinished.

LeO 455

High-altitude version with turbo-supercharged Gnome-Rhône 14R engines producing 1,375 hp (1025 kW) each, 400 ordered, one prototype built.

The aircraft flew on 12 March 1939 but was later destroyed on the ground.

LeO 455Ph

Post-war photo-reconnaissance variant, powered by two 1,600 hp (1195 kW) SNECMA 14R engines.

LeO 456 (LeO 451M)

Naval version for the French Navy, 68 ordered. Also known as the LeO 451M.

LeO 458

Wright GR-2600-A5B engines, ten ordered

Specifications

Crew: 4

Length: 17.17 m (56 ft 4 in)

Wingspan: 22.52 m (73 ft 11 in)

Height: 5.24 m (17 ft 2 in)

Wing area: 66 m2 (710 sq ft)

Empty weight: 7,530 kg (16,601 lb)

Max takeoff weight: 11,398 kg (25,128 lb)

Fuel capacity: 3,235 l (855 US gal; 712 imp gal)

Powerplant: 1 × Gnome-Rhône 14N−48 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 790 kW (1,060 hp) LH rotation (or −38 or −46)

Powerplant: 1 × Gnome-Rhône 14N−49 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 790 kW (1,060 hp) RH rotation (or −39 or −47)

Propellers: 3-bladed constant-speed propellers (LH and RH rotation)

Performance

Maximum speed: 495 km/h (308 mph, 267 kn) at 4,000 m (13,123 ft)

Cruise speed: 420 km/h (260 mph, 230 kn)

Range: 2,900 km (1,800 mi, 1,600 nmi)

Service ceiling: 9,000 m (30,000 ft)

Armament

Guns: 1 × 20 mm Hispano-Suiza HS.404 cannon in dorsal turret, 120 rounds

1 × 7.5 mm (0.295 in) MAC 1934 fixed forward-firing machine gun, 300 rounds

1 × 7.5 mm MAC 1934 in a “dustbin” retractable ventral turret, 500 rounds

Bombs: Up to 1568 kg (3,457 lb) of bombs in fuselage and wing root bomb bays

7 × 200 kg bombs (actual bomb weight: 224 kg or 494 lb).

 

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