September 28, 2022
Today in Aviation: First Flight of the Potez 62
Today in Aviation

Today in Aviation: First Flight of the Potez 62

Today in Aviation, the French-built, twin-engined civilian airliner, the Potez 62, took to the skies for the first time in 1935.

The aircraft was designed by Henry Potez, a French aviation engineer who founded his own company Aviation Potez in 1919. During the First World War, many of his factory-built land and seaplanes were considered some of the most modern in the world. Indeed many of his aircraft went on to set numerous world records.

Potez then wanted to move into the civilian market. He created the Potez 62 as a development of the Potez 54 bomber.

Henri Potez posing with the two pilots Jacques Grangette (on the left) and P. Canneil in front of the Potez Heinkel-CM-191 jet plane before its maiden flight. In the background Henri Potez hangar. (Photo: André Cros, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Airline Workhorse

The high-wing monoplane had a wooden fuselage with a composite coating and retractable undercarriage. The wings were covered in fabric, while the leading edges were made from metal. Two Gnôme & Rhône radial engines powered the aircraft, which was capable of speeds of up to 200 mph. Its cabin, which was split into two compartments, could carry between 14 and 16 passengers.

Air France, which had recently been formed following the merger of five small French airlines, introduced the type to service in July 1935. Its inaugural flight was on a new routing from London to Rome. It quickly became the workhorse of the airline.

Despite its slow speeds, the type was robust and reliable. It could be found as far afield as South America and the Far East.

An Air France advert from 1936, highlighting the Potez 62. This non-U.S. work was published in 1927 or later, but is in the public domain in the United States because it was simultaneously published (within 30 days) in the U.S. and in its source country, and is in the public domain in the U.S. as a U.S. work (no copyright registered, or not renewed).

Featured image: Potez 62 photo Le Pontential Aérien Mondial 1936. Photo: Le Pontential Aérien Mondial 1936, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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