LeO 451 late

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RANK 5 FRANCE
Somua SM PACK
This page is about the French bomber LeO 451 late. For the other LeO 451, see LeO 451 early.
LeO 451 late
leo_451_late.png
GarageImage LeO 451 late.jpg
ArtImage LeO 451 late.png
LeO 451 late
Research:5 600 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:22 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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Description

The LeO 451 started development in the early 1930s as the French Air Force wanted to procure a new light bomber for their young bombing branch. The first prototype flew in 1937, with only minor issues, aside from that, it displayed excellent performance, it used a pair of Hispano-Suiza engines. A second prototype was built using different engines with testing in 1938. However, the engines of the second prototype could not be obtained in time for the aircraft's production, but even with this setback, the aircraft's numbers quickly raised before the Invasion of France in May 1940. The aircraft suffered heavy losses against German pilots, that had complete air superiority, however it performed much better against Italian forces in southern France. During its latest versions, with the intention to increase the survivability, the aircraft underwent a series of revisions; the most important one that entered in service before the capitulation of France added additional defensive armament for the rear gunner, in the form of additional light machine guns aside from the regular Hispano 404 cannon.

It was introduced in Update 1.79 "Project X". It was introduced in Update 1.73 "Vive la France". The LeO 451 is a versatile high-speed medium bomber that is capable of undertaking low-level ground attack strikes against tanks, pillboxes, and other small targets. It also carries a fairly respectable bomb load for its battle rating, and can be used to destroy bases efficiently. The LeO 451 represent a complete departure from the Farman F.222.2 and SNCAC NC.223.3 heavy bombers. The LeO 451 sacrifices bombload for high speed, although at a 1,900 kg maximum load it still carries a respectable amount compared to similar bombers like the Petlyakov Pe-2 and the CRDA Cant Z.1007bis Alcione series. It is also quite manoeuvrable for a twin-engine bomber. Compared to the previous LeO 451, the difference is the increased defensive armament, with the Late variant adding two additional 7.5 mm MGs for the rear gunner.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 6 250 m490 km/h
Turn time30 s
Max altitude10 500 m
EngineGnome Rhone 14N-38
TypeRadial
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight11 t
Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 6,250 m)
Max altitude
(metres)
Turn time
(seconds)
Rate of climb
(metres/second)
Take-off run
(metres)
AB RB AB RB AB RB
Stock 466 451 10500 31.3 32.2 3.1 3.1 550
Upgraded 517 490 28.8 30.0 9.6 5.8

Details

Features
Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
X X
Limits
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
550 340 385 366 270 ~7 ~5
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 315 < 310 < 350 > 340

Survivability and armour

Crew4 people
Speed of destruction
Structural550 km/h
Gear340 km/h
  • 12 mm behind the pilot
  • 12 mm behind the dorsal gunner
  • Self-sealing fuel tanks (2 in each wing)
A LeO 451 bomber with a fatal engine fire, which can be extremely difficult to extinguish before disintegrating.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB802 → 1 100 Sl icon.png
RB1 310 → 1 797 Sl icon.png
SB2 122 → 2 911 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications10 300 Rp icon.png
13 800 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost750 Ge icon.png
Crew training6 300 Sl icon.png
Experts22 000 Sl icon.png
Aces250 Ge icon.png
Research Aces220 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
60 / 120 / 200 % Sl icon.png
124 / 124 / 124 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Research:
420 Rp icon.png
Cost:
560 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods radiator.png
Radiator
Research:
420 Rp icon.png
Cost:
560 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods compressor.png
Compressor
Research:
580 Rp icon.png
Cost:
770 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Research:
430 Rp icon.png
Cost:
570 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods new engine.png
Engine
Research:
430 Rp icon.png
Cost:
570 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
Research:
1 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 500 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
Airframe
Research:
580 Rp icon.png
Cost:
770 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mods engine extinguisher.png
EFS(a)
Research:
430 Rp icon.png
Cost:
570 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
Cover
Research:
1 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 500 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
7_5mm_belt_pack
Research:
420 Rp icon.png
Cost:
560 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods ammo.png
hispano_mk5_turret_belt_pack
Research:
420 Rp icon.png
Cost:
560 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
100 GPs
Research:
420 Rp icon.png
Cost:
560 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
mac39_new_gun
Research:
580 Rp icon.png
Cost:
770 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
200 GPs
Research:
580 Rp icon.png
Cost:
770 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods ammo.png
7_5mm_turret_belt_pack
Research:
430 Rp icon.png
Cost:
570 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods turret gun.png
hispano_mk5_turret_new_gun
Research:
430 Rp icon.png
Cost:
570 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
500 GPs
Research:
430 Rp icon.png
Cost:
570 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods turret gun.png
mac39_turret_new_gun
Research:
1 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 500 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Offensive armament

Ammunition300 rounds
Fire rate1 350 shots/min
Main article: MAC 1934 (7.5 mm)

The LeO 451 late is armed with:

  • 1 x 7.5 mm MAC 1934 machine gun, nose-mounted (300 rpg)

Suspended armament

List of setups (4)
Setup 116 x 50 kg G.A. MMN. 50
Setup 27 x 100 kg No.1
Setup 36 x 200 kg No.1
1 x 100 kg No.1
Setup 44 x 200 kg No.1
1 x 100 kg No.1
2 x 500 kg No.2

The LeO 451 late can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • 16 x 50 kg G.A. MMN. 50 bombs (800 kg total)
  • 7 x 100 kg No.1 bombs (700 kg total)
  • 6 x 200 kg No.1 bombs + 1 x 100 kg No.1 bomb (1,300 kg total)
  • 2 x 500 kg No.2 bombs + 4 x 200 kg No.1 bombs + 1 x 100 kg No.1 bomb (1,900 kg total)

Defensive armament

Turret20 mm Hispano 404 cannon
Ammunition120 rounds
Fire rate701 shots/min
Turret7.5 mm MAC 1934 machine gun
Ammunition500 rounds
Fire rate1350 shots/min
Turret2 x 7.5 mm MAC 1934 machine gun
Ammunition1500 rounds
Fire rate1350 shots/min

The LeO 451 late is defended by:

  • 1 x 20 mm Hispano 404 cannon (120 rpg) + 2 x 7.5 mm MAC 1934 machine guns (750 rpg = 1,500 total), dorsal turret
  • 1 x 7.5 mm MAC 1934 machine gun, ventral turret (500 rpg)

Usage in battles

The Leo 451 can be used as more than just a bomber. Due to the size of the aircraft, it is able to manoeuvre more like a heavy fighter allowing it to fight against other twin-engine aircraft or anything heavier. Unfortunately, the lack of proper offensive armament means that scoring hits will do little other than damage fuel and oil tank in most cases. In any kind of aerial combat, the dorsal gunner is one of the best options for scoring solid hits, especially when flying under other aircraft and firing upwards into them. Flying this close to get a shot comes with risks as flying in front of the enemies guns will also paint a target on your aircraft. For defending from fighters a good tactic is to gain some altitude so that when an enemy appears you can accelerate into a dive. A fast aircraft makes it much harder for fighters to close the distance giving the dorsal gunner and opportunity to do his job. While diving to make an aircraft fast can be a good thing, it is important to not go too fast as the wings are not invincible and will potentially rip off. Turning in this aircraft is relatively effective for a plane its size, though unfortunately, it does not handle like a sports car. Factors such as an empty bomb bay will increase its manoeuvrability to something closer to a heavy fighter.

When it comes to the ground attack role, the bombs are a gimmie, for destroying tanks and pillboxes, though, if lucky enough an entire armoured column may be destroyed. On the other hand, the nose gun can be used to attack lightly armoured ground targets such as trucks or anti-aircraft guns, while the 20 mm dorsal gun can be used to take out armoured cars.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Controllable
Not auto controlled
Controllable
Not auto controlled
Controllable
Not auto controlled
Separate Not controllable
1 gear
Not controllable

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Dorsal gunner has large ammunition pool
  • Comes included with an offensive armament
  • Very manoeuvrable after the payload has been released
  • Accelerates very fast in a dive
  • Abilities allow for it to multifunction as a bomber, heavy fighter and attacker
  • Powerful dorsal turret

Cons:

  • Dorsal gunners main gun runs out of ammunition before the coaxial 7.5 mm machine gun
  • Offensive armament is insufficient for most engagements
  • Prone to engine fires
  • Aircraft does not excel in any particular role
  • Many blind spots for gunners

History

A LeO 451 bomber's final moments after a fatal engine fire.

Development of the LeO 451 began in the early 1930s, after the newly formed Armée de l'air issued the so called Plan I, intended to increase the number of modern military aircraft available to the French Air Force. As part of this plan, the young Air Force was keen on expanding and developing their strategic bombing branch. However, as the already available bombers, such as the Farman F.221, were considered unsuitable for the needs of the Air Force, a set of specifications was issued for the development of a brand new bomber. Among other aircraft manufacturers, Lioré et Olivier (which would be nationalized as part of SNCASE) also submitted their LeO 45 design. Being a long-time supplier to the French Air Force, Lioré et Olivier had a reputation of building reliable and effective bombers dating back to WW1. Thanks to this, the further development of the LeO 45 was approved. The first prototype (LeO 45-01), powered by a pair of Hispano-Suiza engines, took flight on 16 January 1937. Despite showing some minor issues, the LeO 45 prototype displayed excellent performance. A second prototype, equipped with a pair of Gnome-Rhone engines was also constructed and subsequently designated LeO 451-01. Testing of the 451 prototype began in October 1938.

However, due to various production issues associated with the Gnome-Rhone engine, production of the LeO 451 was delayed, beginning only in late 1938. Although the Armée de l'air only fielded a handful of operational LeO 451 bombers at the outbreak of WW2, their number would rise up prior to the Invasion of France in May 1940. During this chapter of WW2, the LeO 451 saw wide use against both advancing German forces on the east and Italian forces on the south. While the aircraft suffered great losses at the hands of Luftwaffe's superior fighters and the Wehrmacht's relentless anti-air guns, it fared a lot better on the southern front against Italian forces. Nonetheless, the LeO 451 did eventually retire in September 1957 as the final pre-war French aircraft to leave active duty.

- From Devblog

Media

Skins

See also

External links


Lioré et Olivier (SNCASE)
Bombers  LeO 451 early · LeO 451 late

France bombers
Farman  F.222.2 · N.C.223.3
Latécoère  Late 298D
Potez  Potez 633
Liore et Olivier  LeO 451 early · LeO 451 late
Bloch  M.B.174A-3 · M.B.162 · M.B.175T
American  V-156-F · Martin 167-A3 · ▄A-35B · ▄SB2C-5 · B-26C · ▄PBY-5A Late · ▄PB4Y-2
British  Lancaster MR.7