13 thoughts on “A Strange Bird

  1. Pete says:

    Sure looks like a Potez 540 or similar beast.
    The insignia markings elude me, potentially Spanish Republican markings?

  2. Woody Peard says:

    I can tell you it’s really ugly. It must be Russian! Woody

  3. Nigel Dingley says:

    Dear Historic Wings,

    It’s an Amiot 143. A late 1930s French bomber.

    Toodle pip!


  4. Oleo says:

    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!


    1. HW says:

      A reasonably humorous (and completely fabricated) answer — five stars for creativity!!

  5. Rob Golder says:

    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?

    1. Bernard says:

      They were removed to reduce drag… Ha ! Ha ! Ha !… 🙂

    1. Rob Golder says:

      Hi Roy

      According to Bernard you take the wheel spats off!

      1. Roy Benstead says:

        Wheel spats on or off, it still is the ugliest aircraft I have ever seen a photo of.

  6. Billy says:

    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.

  7. Jean Marc Antoine says:

    Amiot 143
    Medium Bomber
    Activity: 1935-1940
    In May 1940 70% losses in medium altitude raid
    No commercial duty for this plane


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