The Amiot 354 WW2 aircraft was developed based on the design of the earlier Amiot 341 mail-carrier plane. It had the intention of copying the fast and long range capabilities of the Amiot 341; however the design for the Amiot 350 series were radically departed from the original design of the 341. The new wings of the Amiot 354 were designed based on the improved knowledge of aerodynamics. The conceptual design replaced the flying-box approach to become a more streamlined and extremely clean WW2 aircraft. It had shoulder-mounted wings which were powered by two radial engines making the Amiot 354 look and fly fast. The design of the 354 was larger compared to other twin engine bomber designs during that time and this led to the capability of the Amiot 350 series to be produced into a variety of design versions.
The first version, which was the Amiot 351, was developed and flown for the first time in the summer of 1939. This version however showed problems with engine cooling and had a weak undercarriage that hindered the installation of more armaments and bomb loading capabilities of the WW2 aircraft.
The Amiot 354 was an improved version since it solved the engine cooling problem and had the undercarriage strengthened to accommodate more armaments. This WW2 aircraft was installed with two Gnome-Rhone 1060 HP 14N 14-cylinder radial engines and can accommodate a four-man crew that is stationed in a number of specialized positions within the plane. The armaments that were installed on the Amiot 354 were the following: (1) one single 20mm cannon, (2) two 7.5 mm machine guns, and (3) an internal bay that could hold a maximum bomb-load of 2,646 lbs.
The Amiot 354’s maiden mission was conducted on May 16, 1940 where it carried out an armed reconnaissance mission over the Netherlands. This WW2 aircraft were both used by the Vichy French Air Force and the German Luftwaffe during the Battle of France.
|Type:||two-man crew torpedo/dive bomber|
|Design:||Aichi Aircraft Firm|
|Engine(s):||2 x Gnome-Rhone 1060 HP 14N 14-cylinder radial engines|
|Max Speed:||298 kilometers per hour|
|Max Range:||3,500 kilometers|
|Empty Weight:||4,725 kg|
|Maximum Weight:||11,300 kg|