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F-BANT — - From an original print from my father
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From an original print from my father's collection. This image looks like Solent near Southampton UK, F-BANT was a Latecoere 631 flying boat built in 1945 with 6 x Wright R-2600-A5B Cyclone radials. Hope you agree image is classic


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Robert Black
This aircraft photo looks a lot like the Spruce Goose flown once by Howard Hughes over San Francisco Bay in 1945.
I thought Spruce Goose, too. Amazing aircraft, both of them.
Jan Esbra
Robert,Spruce goose had 8 engines, yet both planes look similar.
Flying boats were stationed at Calshot on the Solent and this country does not look much like Calshot or the RAF Calshot spit. I was stationed at Marchwood and we often went down past the moored flying boats in the mid '60s, which may have been Saunders-Roe Princess flying boats built in the Isle of Wight.
The Princess had 10 engines, 2 per engine pod on the inter two engines, with contra rotating props, and two single outer engines.
Gee... "Think big" is what comes to my mind, anyways!
Would be interesting to compare those (F-Bant, along with Spruce goose and Princess) with todays Dromes... (technicly!)
A small point for historical accuracy...the Hughes Flying boat made only one flight and that was at Long Beach when it was taken out by Hughes for taxiing tests. He decided that it should fly, climbed to a massive 70 feet and then he put it down. It never flew again and now finds itself at the Evergreen Air Museum in Willamette, Oregon. The closest it came to San Francisco Bay was on a barge as it transited up the West Coast to Oregon.
john cook
Your right John.
The H-4 Hercules only flew one time in Long Beach harbor.
Interesting fact, the PT boat that had the film media on board when the H-4 flew later became McHale's Navy PT-73.
And was lost after the TV series was ended.
John mentioned Evergreen Museum is located in Wilsonville, OR. It's actually McMinnville about 28 miles west of Wilsonville. Visited the museum on National Museum day sponsored by Smithsonian. Awesome plane and the museum has plenty more.
sorry John. saw the other comment.
168 Spark plugs to clean and gap. At full throttle she burns 780 gallons per hour.
I assumed it was the Spruce Goose at first. This is a great photo of a BIG plane for its day. Was it made from wood?????
Angela Huber
Wow what a beautiful plane!
The only flight of the Spruce goose, piloted by Howard Hughes, was in Long Beach Harbor, Not San Francisco Bay.
Une belle pièce d'archives.
Una maravilla de aeronave e ingenieria de su epoca.
Robert Bell
This is a real classic, thanks for sharing!
This looks like the spruce goose that flew over the water is San fransico during the war made by Japan's but it was called something else in Japanese
About the question posted by Elwood Johnson of material used to build it. This is a quote taken from the Evergreen aviation &space museum: "Hughes took on the task, made even more challenging by the government’s restrictions on materials critical to the war effort, such as steel and aluminum. Six times larger than any aircraft of its time, the Spruce Goose, also known as the Flying Boat, is made entirely of wood." So the anwser is yes, she was made only from wood
Hills in the background are probably not near Solent nor Cowes. Routes operated by the Latecoere 631 were mostly to the south and west of France, seldom if ever to the north.
F-BANT, first flew on 7 March 1945.
On 31 October 1945, Air France's F-BANT was operating a flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Montevideo, Uruguay and Buenos Aires, Argentina when the propeller of No. 3 engine separated in flight, damaging No. 2 engine. A propeller blade sliced a 3 metres (9.8 ft) hole in the cabin, killing two passengers. A fire started and an emergency landing was made in the Laguna de Rocha, Uruguay. The aircraft was subsequently repaired and returned to service.
Lucky guy holding the camera!
ian mcdonell
CLASSIC is not strong enough - thanks for posting this pic
Jim Costello
Proud that the French built this beauty in the year of my birth. However they buried one during their country's occupation by foreign invaders during WW11. Rising like a phoenix it could fly you across the Atlantic at 240 mph. Vive La France!
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