Lioré-et-Olivier LeO 455

The Loiré-et-Olivier LeO 455 was a version of the LeO 451 medium bomber that was powered by two supercharged Gnome & Rhone engines. The French Armée de l'Air ordered 400 LeO 455s during the Phoney War Period, but only the prototype was built. This aircraft, LeO 455 No.001, was used by the Germans as a test bed for the supercharged Gnome & Rhone 14R engine. The 20mm cannon in the dorsal position was replaced with a 13mm MG 131 machine gun on a ring mount. The aircraft was destroyed in March 1944.

In 1945-46 the French refurbished fourteen of the nearly 70 LeO 45s that had survived the war. Eleven became LeO 451E flying test beds, but three (Nos.602, 499 and 500) were given Gnome & Rhone 14R engines and became LeO 455 Nos.3, 4 and 5 (suggesting that a second aircraft must have been near completion in 1940).  These aircraft were used by the engine manufacture SNECMA as flying test-beds for the Gnome-Rhone 14R.

Five more LeO 455s were produced in 1948-50, this time as civil aircraft. Once again they were converted from LeO 451s, with 1,600hp Gnome & Rhone 14R engines and photographic equipment. These LeO 455 Ph aircraft were used by the Institut Géographique Nationale.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (11 May 2011), Lioré-et-Olivier LeO 455 ,

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