|This page is about the French fighter D.520. For other versions, see D.520 (Family).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The D.520 is a rank II French fighter with a battle rating of 3.0 (AB/RB) and 2.3 (SB). It was introduced in Update 1.73 "Vive la France". In its early development, the Dewoitine D.520 was marred by official interference. The D.520 was the best fighter France had during the German invasion of 1940 and it was a fair match for the German Bf 109, with it having the manoeuvrability the faster German fighters lacked. Its pilots fought with great bravery and skill to bring respectability to the type during the Battle of France and the plane served along both sides in the war, with both the Vichy and Free French air forces possessing a number of the aircraft.
Due to the D.520's mediocre handling, each scenario must be exploited to the best for the maximum efficiency from the plane. However, maintaining a high speed with the aircraft is essential to do well in common dogfighting tactics such as Boom & Zoom and Turn & Burn.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 5,000 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 370||< 400||< 430||> 340|
Survivability and armour
- 38 mm Bulletproof glass in front of pilot.
- 8 mm Steel plate behind pilot.
- 3 mm Steel box behind pilot's head.
Modifications and economy
The D.520 is armed with:
- 1 x 20 mm Hispano 404 cannon, nose-mounted (60 rpg)
- 4 x 7.5 mm MAC 1934 machine guns, wing-mounted (675 rpg = 2,700 total)
Usage in battles
This fighter is the classic "jack of all trades, master of none". It can be an energy fighter, bomber hunter, or even a turn-fighter. It depends on your playstyle, and the kinds of enemy aircraft that are encountered.
The main purpose of the D.520 is the role of an interceptor/fighter. It has no bombing capability and thus stands limited to aerial combat. In this respect there are a few things to consider, first and foremost that this is a fighter that does not do great away from a squad. It has mediocre flight characteristics as far as speed, climb and turn is concerned. It is however quite well armoured to compensate for such, meaning that it will stay air-worthy where other aircraft would crash, and instead stands a fighter which is effective in engagements where it has support to rely on. Without such support, it is a very situational plane which can engage certain enemies depending on advantage in altitude, speed, or sometimes even a turning radius. It has a respectable armament of one powerful Hispano 20 mm cannon with a very limited ammunition load (60 rounds), and four 7.5 mm guns with a good deal of ammunition which makes it competitive in Realistic battles. Its strong airframe is able to withstand significant wind resistance making it potent in a longer dive. Despite its limited attributes it handles fairly comfortably and thus can be a real asset to a pilot which employs situational awareness combined with an in depth understanding of the enemy aircraft he will choose to either engage or avoid. It has a potent incendiary tracer round for its machine guns and the Hispano makes it pack a fairly significant punch despite its limited cannon ammunition. The D.520 is best considered a heavier single-seat fighter aircraft which can out-endure other enemy squads due to its armour, but not out-turn, out-run, or out-gun many other types of aircraft on its own rank.
Once the weaponry upgrades are unlocked, it's recommended to use the tracer belt for the 7.5 mm guns and the "Stealth" for the Hispano cannon. Since there are no Air targets belt for the cannon, the Stealth have the strongest punch. Be very careful with the cannon ammo, only fire in controlled bursts with 2-3 shots. Do not use the cannon at longer range because of the limited ammo and the inaccuracy. Use the machine guns to help when aiming the Hispano.
The D.520 is capable for bomber hunting. It has good armour, not too bad climb rate, and the combination of the single 20 mm and four machine guns can easily destroy low rank bombers.
Enemies worth noting:
- Bf 109s: This plane is one of the D.520's most dangerous enemies. They can out-run you in level flight, but your turn rate is better, even without using combat flaps. So, the classic dogfight is the only way to counter them.
- A6M2/A6M3: As always, never go in a turnfight with them. The D.520 can easily out-run the Zero in a shallow dive or even in level flight. Head-ons are recommended, because the Hispano cannon can have devastating impact on their weak airframes, and the MGs are capable of causing fires.
- Spitfires: The D.520 is less likely to face them, but sometimes you need to fight with these excellent fighters. They are out-perform you almost all aspects. They have equal or better turn rate, comparable weaponry, better climb rate, and better speed. You have the least disadvantage in a turnfight, so bait the Spitfire into a low-altitude dogfight, and make him lose as much energy as possible. Now, you have a chance to get him from his six, and at this point you and your opponent both are "slow and low", so it's going to be an easy job for the friendly fighters to take him down, but you are good target for the enemy too, so be careful.
- F4U: These are quite common to face. You can out-turn them, but don't try anything else, almost all American fighters can catch you, especially in dive.
- P-38E: Same as the F4U; turn-fight them to bleed their speed, but don't try anything else, as the P-38 is faster, and has a deadly armament of 4 x 12.7 mm MGs, and the feared AN/M2 20 mm.
Manual Engine Control
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
|Separate|| Not controllable
Pros and cons
- Powerful 20 mm cannon
- Plenty of ammo for the machine guns
- Tracer belts are made up entirely of incendiary tracers; great fire starters, especially for fabric-covered aircraft
- Fairly good armour
- Quite manoeuvrable
- Respectable turn time
- Very little ammo for the 20 mm cannon (60 rounds)
- Relatively poor rate of climb
- Very situational aircraft
- Takes a lot of machine gun rounds to shoot down a enemy plane if you run out of cannon ammo
Widely regarded as the best fighter of French origin to emerge during World War 2, the Dewoitine D.520's combat carrier had two main phases. After the fall of France, large numbers of the type were sent to Africa and some took part in the 1941 Syrian campaign against the British and Free French forces. Fighting alongside the German Luftwaffe, the D.520's pilots were involved in the fight against the Allies during the Operation Torch landings in November, 1942. After the victory of the Allies, a large number of D.520 pilots decided to change sides and fight for the Allies. The type was extensively used by Luftwaffe fighter schools as trainers, this shows the desperation faced by that service late in the war. Accident rates among students were very high.
The D.520 was powered by either the Hispano-Suiza 12Y-45 or 12Y-49 engines, rated at 850 hp (634 kW) and 820 hp (612 kW) respectively. Each engine drove a different propeller. The D.520 underwent trials for the more powerful 12Y-51 (D.523) and 12Z-89ter (D.524) engines although neither were accepted.
Compared to other French fighters at the time, the Dewoitine D.520 was relatively well armed. Its armament consisted of one Hispano-Suiza HS404 20 mm cannon with 60 rounds, and four wing-mounted 7.5 mm MAC 1934 machine guns, each with 675 rounds of ammunition.
The D.520's cockpit was set well in aft, giving it excellent downward vision in flight. However, taxiing was quite a tricky task. It required the pilot to weave to retain a semblance of forward visibility.
The D.520 over France
The D.520 fought with great distinction during the Battle of France. There were a number of notable victories against the Luftwaffe in the North, including the shooting down of the leading Luftwaffe ace Werner Mölders. In the South, the D.520's scored easy kills against the Italians who joined the war on the 10th of June. France's only "ace in a day" was Pierre Le Gloan, who shot down four CR.42s and a BR.20 in a single sortie in a D.520 on the 15th of June.
- Related development
- [War is Boring] France's D.520 Fighter Flew for Many Sides in World War II (Web Archive)
- [aviastar.org] Dewoitine D 520 (Web Archive)
- [History Of War] Dewoitine D.520 (Web Archive)
|D.37||D.371 · D.371 H.S.9 · D.373|
|D.500||D.500 · D.501 · Pallier's D.510|
|D.520||D.520 · ▄D.520 · ▄D.521|
|Dewoitine||D.371 · D.371 H.S.9 · D.373 · D.500 · D.501 · Pallier's D.510 · D.520|
|Morane-Saulnier||M.S.405C1 · M.S.406C1 · M.S.410|
|Bloch||M.B.152C1 · M.B.157|
|American||H-75A-1 · H-75A-4 · ▄P-39Q-25 · ▄P-40F-5 Lafayette · ▄P-47D-22-RE · ▄P-63C-5 · F-6C-10-NA|
|▄F6F-5 · ▄F6F-5N · F4U-7 · ▄F8F-1B|
|Other countries||▄Seafire LF Mk.III · ▄Yak-3 · Challe's ▄Yak-9T · NC.900|