Amiot 143 Airplane Videos and Aircraft Pictures

Amiot 143 Video - Picture

Airplane Picture - 1/72 scale model from Smer kit

Amiot 143 Warbird Information

Amiot 143

Airplane Picture - 1/72 scale model from Smer kit

Aircraft Picture - 1/72 scale model from Smer kit

Role: Medium bomber
Manufacturer: Avions Amiot
Designer: Félix Amiot
First flight: 1931
Introduction: July 1935
Retired: 1944
Primary user: French Air Force
Produced: 1935-1937
Number built: 138

The Amiot 143M was a late 1930s French medium bomber designed to meet 1928 specifications for a bomber capable of day/night bombing, long-range reconnaissance and bomber escort.

Design and development

In 1928, the French Air Ministry issued a specification for a four-seat Multiplace de Combat, a multi-seat combat aircraft to act as a bomber, reconnaissance aircraft and long-range escort fighter. Amiot received an order for two prototype Amiot 140s, to be evaluated against the competing Bleriot 137, Breguet 410 and SPCA 30. The Amiot 140 was a high-winged cantilever monoplane of all-metal construction, with corrugated wing skinning and a fixed tail wheel undercarriage. The pilot sat in an open cockpit, with separate cockpits for gunners in the nose and dorsal positions. A glazed gondola under the forward fuselage carried a bombardier/gunner, ensuring that the gunners had a clear field of fire all around the aircraft. The Amiot was intended to be powered by two 515 kW (690 hp) Lorraine-Dietrich 18 Orion water-cooled W engines, but these were unavailable, and the first prototype was fitted with Hispano-Suiza 12NBr engines to allow flight testing, making its maiden flight on 12 April 1931. The second prototype was completed in February 1932, but the continued non-availability of its intended engines, either the original Lorraine-Dietrichs or turbocharged Hispano-Suizas, meant that it never flew. Despite this, on 23 November 1933 an order was placed for 40 Amiot 140s, to be powered by 662 kW (880 hp) Lorraine 12Q engines.

The French Air Ministry had meanwhile revised its requirements, requiring better performance and better bombing capability, and Amiot redesigned the aircraft to meet these requirements and incorporate lessons learned during testing of the Amiot 140. The gondola under the fuselage was enlarged, allowing easier operation of the aircraft's guns, and allowing a fifth crew member (a radio-operator) to be carried. Manually operated gun turrets were provided in the nose and dorsal positions. Orders were placed for two prototypes, differing only in the engines fitted, with the Amiot 142 having Hispano-Suiza 12Y engines and the Amiot 143 having Gnome-Rhone 14K radial engines. The 143 flew first, on 1 August 1934, with the 142 not flying until January 1935. As it was decided to allocate the Hispano-Suiza engines to fighters, the Amiot 143 was selected, the existing order for 40 Amiot 140s being converted to 143s.

The Amiot 143 had the same high-winged, fixed undercarriage layout as the Amiot 140, with the wing thick enough to allow the crew to access the engines in flight using a tunnel between the wing spars. The pilot sat in an enclosed cockpit level with the leading edge of the wing, and the navigator/bombardier, who was also provided with flying controls, sat in the extensively glazed gondola beneath the pilot. The radio operator sat towards the rear of the gondola, and in early aircraft also operated two 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Lewis guns. Nose and dorsal turrets, each carrying a single Lewis gun, completed the defensive armament, while the gondola also housed an internal bomb-bay. After 40 aircraft had been completed, the design was revised, with the aircraft being fitted with a longer nose (increasing overall length from 17.94 m (58 ft 10 in) to 18.24 m (59 ft 10 in), a revised fuel system, and with the Lewis guns in the nose and dorsal turrets and the ventral position replaced by single 7.5 mm (.295 in) MAC 1934 machine guns, with a fourth gun used by the navigator/bombadier firing through a hatch in the floor.

Deliveries of the aging design eventually began in April 1935, continuing until March 1937, with a total of 138 being built. An improved version, the Amiot 144 was built designed to meet 1933 requirement for a Multiplace de Combat, combining the same fuselage and a similar wing with a retractable undercarriage. First flying on 18 January 1936, only one was built.

Despite being of an ungainly two-tiered structure, slow and lacking maneuverability, and of obsolescent architecture, the Amiot 143M was a sturdy plane which was popular with its pilots.

Operational history

The Amiot 143M entered service in July 1935, with deliveries continuing through 1936 and 1937. By the time the last deliveries were made in March 1938, the Amiot was quite out of date, and began to be replaced by more modern aircraft such as the Bloch MB.131. Nevertheless at the outbreak of the Second World War, Amiot 143s equipped 5 metropolitan groupes together with a single African based groupe.

During the Phoney War, Amiot 143M groupes carried out reconnaissance and leaflet raids over Germany. 87 Amiot 143M remained in front line service on 10 May 1940, 50 equipping four metropolitan groupes: GBs I/34 and II/34 in the north, GBs I/38 and II/38 in the East, and 17 equipping one African groupe, GB II/63, which was in the process of re-equipping with Martin 167Fs. Following the start of the Battle of France, the Amiot 143M was mainly used in night attacks against German airfields and lines of communications, with losses relatively low. One notable exception was a daylight raid by 10 Amiots from GBs I/34, II/34, and II/38 led by Commandant de Laubier against German bridgeheads near Sedan on 14 May 1940. Despite fighter escort, two Amiots were shot down while a third force-landed before reaching its base.

By the time of the Armistice, the Amiot 143M had dropped a total of 474 tonnes (523 tons) of bombs. 52 Amiot 143Ms were in the Unoccupied Zone and 25 were in French North Africa. They were reorganized into GBs I/38 and II/38 and were used until July 1941 when they were replaced by LeO 451 bombers.

Some planes of the II/38 served as a transports for the French in Syria. This groupe later went over to the Allied side after their landings in Africa. The last Amiot 143M was retired from service in February 1944.

A few Amiot 143M are reported to have been commandeered by the Germans and used as transports. Only 11 planes were left in the Unoccupied Zone when it was occupied by the Germans in 1943, and only three were flightworthy.

Had the war gone on a little longer for France, it is likely that all of the Amiot 143M would have ended up in a training role, having been replaced by more modern bombers such as the Breguet 693. The obsolete plane was never intended to have such an important role come war time, but slow French production made its use necessary - often being pulled from training squadrons to shore up bomber groupes.


Amiot 140
Prototype with Hispano-Suiza 12Nbr inline engines. Two built, of which only one flown, followed by orders for 40 more produced as Amiot 143 instead.
Amiot 141
revised design (unbuilt)
Amiot 142
prototype with Hispano-Suiza 12Ybrs inlines (1 built)
Amiot 143
production version with Gnome-Rhx´ne 14Kirs / Gnome-Rhx´ne 14Kjrs radial engines (138 built, including 40 ordered as Amiot 140 and 25 ordered as Amiot 144)
Amiot 144
version with reduced wing area, added flaps and retractable undercarriage and no front turret (1 built, orders for 25 produced as Amiot 143 instead)
Amiot 145
Amiot 144 with Hispano-Suiza 14AA inlines (not built)
Amiot 146
Amiot 144 with Gnome-Rhx´ne 18Lars radials (not built)
Amiot 147
Amiot 144 with Hispano-Suiza 12Ydrs / Hispano-Suiza 12Yfrs inlines (not built)
Amiot 150
Reconnaissance, torpedo bomber prototype, for use with the Aeronavale. Amiot 143 with 10% larger wing, interchangeable wheel or float landing gear, powered by two Gnome-Rhone radials (1 prototype built)



Air Force of the Independent State of Croatia operated one.


Armee de l'Air operated 138 aircraft.


Luftwaffe operated few captured aircraft.


Polish Air Forces on exile in France
Groupe de Bombardement Marche Polonais

Specifications (Amiot 143)

Data from

General characteristics

Crew: Five (pilot, navigator/bombardier, radio operator, nose and dorsal gunners)
Length: 18.24 m (59 ft 10 in)
Wingspan: 24.53 m (80 ft 5¾ in)
Height: 5.68 m (18 ft 7¾ in)
Wing area: 100 m² (1,076 ft²)
Empty weight: 5,455 kg (12,026 lb)
Loaded weight: 8,611 kg (18,983 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 10,360 kg (22,839 lb)
Powerplant: 2 x— Gnome et Rhx´ne 14Kirs / Gnome et Rhx´ne 14Kjrs 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 640 kW (858 hp)870 cv each


Maximum speed: 295 km/h (159 knots, 183 mph) at 3,400 m (11,160 ft)
Range: 1,300 km (703 nmi, 808 mi) (max bomb load)
Ferry range: 1,995 km (1,078 nmi, 1,240 mi)
Service ceiling: 7,500 m (24,605 ft)
Climb to 2,000 m (6,560 ft): 6.8 min


Guns: 4x— 7.5 mm (.295 in) MAC 1934 machine guns (one each in nose and dorsal turrets, forward gondola and rear gondola)
Bombs: 800 kg (1,760 lb) internally, 800 kg (1,760 lb) externally

Comparable aircraft

Bristol Bombay
Junkers Ju 86
Heinkel 111B
Martin B-10

Bénichou, Michel (July 1997). "Amiot 143:Les sacrificés de la premix¨re heure" (in French). Le Fana de l'Aviation (133): pp. 40-54.
Breffort, Dominique; André Jouineau (2004). French Aircraft from 1939 to 1942: Fighters, Bombers, Reconnaissance and Observation Types: Volume 1 From Amiot to Curtiss. Paris: Histoire & Collections. ISBN 2-915239-23-1.
de Laubier, Philippe (October 1985). "Le Bombardement Franx§ais Sur La Meuse: Le 14 mai 1940" (in French). Revue Historique des Armées: pp. 96-109.
Green, William (1967). War Planes of the Second World War: Volume Seven Bombers and Reconnaissance Aircraft. London: Macdonald.
"The Amiot 143...a study in angular ugliness". Air International (December 1988): pp. 306-313. ISSN 0306-5634.
"The Paris Air Show: The French Aircraft Exhibits". Flight XXII (50): pp. 1427-1438. 12 December 1930.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft. London: Aerospace Publishing.
Weal, Elke C.; John A. Weal & Richard F. Barker. Combat Aircraft of World War Two.

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