This Week’s Hints to help you along:
- The tail shape (and tail flash) tell a lot.
- Whose markings are those on the side of the fuselage?
- Twin-engined but so aerodynamically ungainly it was slow.
- Is that a bomber or are those passenger windows? Or both?
So do you know what this aircraft is?
Post a REPLY below with your best guess!
Click here to check out last week’s What’s That?
13 thoughts on “A Strange Bird”
French bomber Amiot 143.
Sure looks like a Potez 540 or similar beast.
The insignia markings elude me, potentially Spanish Republican markings?
I can tell you it’s really ugly. It must be Russian! Woody
Dear Historic Wings,
It’s an Amiot 143. A late 1930s French bomber.
This is the French craft that was way ahead of its time in concept. The military bomber version was built as a double-decker with a lounge area in the lower bay where crew members could rest and relax, enjoy sightseeing and sip cognac on the way to and from their target. What a way to fight a war! However, the plane never really reached its full potential as a weapons system as the crew was always too drunk and relaxed to fight when they reached the target!
For civilian service, the lower bay was converted into a detachable pod. Passengers would board a stationary pod on the airport ramp. The aircraft would taxi into position over the pod, the pod would be attached and the craft would zoom off into the blue with its pod load of passengers. Upon arrival, the craft would taxi to the ramp area, disconnect the pod and then taxi over to a pod already filled with passengers, thus saving much ground time in loading and unloading passengers.
However, the passenger version never reached its potential either as the passengers in the pods awaiting an aircraft to pick them up were always off somewhere looking for a restroom or a magazine stand, thus causing excessive delay in takeoffs and reduced passenger revenue due to lost passengers. Also, problems occurred when passengers debarked pods before the plane had stopped – or even landed!
However, you’ve got to hand it to those clever Frenchmen for their forward thinking and ingenuity! Clever devils they were!
A reasonably humorous (and completely fabricated) answer — five stars for creativity!!
It appears to be a french bomber the Amiot 143.
Can’t understand why there isn’t any wheel spats.
Surely not an Amiot 144?
They were removed to reduce drag… Ha ! Ha ! Ha !… 🙂
AMIOT 140M (How did it get off the ground?)
According to Bernard you take the wheel spats off!
Wheel spats on or off, it still is the ugliest aircraft I have ever seen a photo of.
Its a French spy plane called a “Sacre Bleu Le Snook” designed for export during the hostilities between Lichtenstein and Herzegovina in 1926. The name comes from the forward fuselage’s slight resemblance to the head of a Boa Constrictor.
In May 1940 70% losses in medium altitude raid
No commercial duty for this plane