Farman F.224

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The Farman F.224 was a passenger aircraft based on the F.222 bomber, originally built for Air France but that served with the Armée de l'Air as a paratrooper transport. The F.224 had the basic configuration as the F.222, with a large high-mounted wing, and four engines, carried in pairs (one pusher and one puller) in nacelles carried on short stub-wings mounted at the base of the fuselage. The F.224 had twin vertical tail surfaces, similar to those used on the Farman NC.223, and a streamlined nose, sloping down from the cockpit, similar to the one later used on the NC.223.4 (also originally designed as a civil aircraft). The F.224 was powered by four Gnome-Rhone 14K radial engines.

A mock-up of the F.224 was built in 1937, and Air France ordered six aircraft, to use on the London to Paris route. When the first of these aircraft reached the airline they proved to be unsuitable for use as a civil aircraft, struggling to fly on two engines and with long take-off and landing runs. Air France was no longer interested in operating the aircraft, and so came to an agreement with the Armée de l'Air. The French Air Force would take the F.224s in return for providing Air France with eight Dewoitine D.338 airliners.

The six F.224s were delivered to the Armée de l'Air in 1938 as 40-seat transport aircraft, but they were soon returned to Farman to be converted into paratrooper transports. In the new configuration they could carry 39 paratroopers and their equipment, were armed with two machine guns, and space was even found for an internal bomb-bay capable of carrying up to 882lb of bombs. The modified aircraft entered service in April-August 1939. In 1940 they were used by Infanterie de l'Air groups GIA I/601 and GIA I/602. A number of the F.224's survived the collapse of France, for one was destroyed in November 1942 in North Africa during Operation Torch

Engine: Four Gnome-Rhone 14K 14-cylinder radial piston engines
Power: 815hp each
Wing span: 118ft 1.25in
Length: 76ft 7.25in
Height: 17ft 0.25in
Maximum take-off Weight: 35,869lb
Max Speed: 193mph
Armament: Two 7.5mm/ .303in machine gunes
Bomb-load: 882lb

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (6 May 2011), Farman F.224 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_farman_F224.html

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