|This page is about the French twin-engine fighter VB.10-02. For the other version, see VB.10C-1.|
Originally conceived as a single engine fighter-interceptor in 1937, development of the Arsenal VB.10 was halted following the German invasion of France in 1940. By the time of the liberation of France in 1944, progress in aircraft development has rendered the original VB.10 obsolete. As such, the design underwent major overhaul to keep up with advancing technology, most notably the addition of second engine behind the pilot's seat to power another set of contra-propellers to give the plane more thrust. The second prototype, designated VB.10-02, first flew after the war in September 1946. It features an increase in armament in the form of six .50 cal Browning machine guns to reinforce the already heavy armament of four Hispano autocannons. Unfortunately, the VB.10 suffered from fatal flaws of engine cooling and overheating problem, which results into the second prototype being destroyed by in-flight fire on January 1948. The advent of jet fighters and another hull loss resulted into the cancellation of the project in September that year.
Introduced in Update 1.73 "Vive la France". The VB.10-02 is an uparmed version of the VB.10C-1 with an addition of six Browning machine guns, giving the plane devastating firepower against any aircraft. However, the VB.10-02's flight performance is essentially the same as its predecessor, while being at a significantly higher BR. This means a VB.10-02 pilot should be more passive in picking and engaging targets, as the plane would often struggle to keep up with delicated fighters in a dogfight.
The flight performance of the VB.10-02 is almost the same as its predecessor, the VB.10C-1. With only negligible decrease in turn time and climb rate due to the addition of extra machine guns.
Like its predecessor, the VB.10-02 is a twin-engine fighter in disguise of a large superprop fighter, this mean its flight characteristic is compartible with some single engine attacker like the AD-4; more sluggish to handle at times, but generally outperforms most traditional twin-engine fighters and attackers in a dogfight. Though due to its size and weight, the VB.10-02 has a mediocre flat acceleration and very poor roll rate. While its turn rate decent for its weight, especially at around 400-500 km/h speed range with flaps, it is still insufficient to keep up with most fighters. This means the VB.10-02 would often struggle in a 1-on-1 dogfight against fighters. In addition, the unconventional engine configuration of the VB.10-02 has a negative effect on its ventiliation, as the engines will overheat relatively quickly while on WEP, this neccesitate the pereodical cooling of the engines to prevent the damage.
Being designed as an interceptor, the VB.10-02 possess decent climb rate and excellent dive speed and acceleration of up to 820 km/h IAS. Combined with its good energy retention after a dive, this allows the plane to quickly gain an energy for zoom climbing to gain an altitude advantage and being able to perform boom-and-zoom tactics. A caveat worth noting about the dive characteristic is that the VB.10-02's rudder will lose its effectiveness after exceeding 650 km/h in air speed, thus significantly reduces its horizontal handling and complicating the chase or evasion at high speed.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 7,000 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)|
|< 380||< 380||< 540||> 340|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|6,400 m||1,315 hp||1,500 hp|
Survivability and armour
- 50 mm Bulletproof glass in front and rear of the cockpit.
Survivability of the VB.10-02 is mixed. The plane's airframe can endure some beating, but its large size also makes it an easy target to hit. While the plane is capable of limping back to an airfield with one engine, the unconventional engine configuration also leaves the rear engine vulnerable to any chasing enemy, especially since the engines has a tendency to catch fire after being damaged.
Modifications and economy
Since improvements for the Hispano autocannons is at rank 3, your first priority is to get them as soon as possible to improve the damage output. Researching the belt options for the Browning MGs should be your first pick, as the stock belt is quite mediocre in effectiveness. Then after reaching rank 3, you should unlock the belt upgrade for the Hispano to pave the way for the "New 20 mm cannons" modification at rank 4 to finally fix the jamming problem of the Hispano. After this, you can freely choose the modifications to research at your own liking.
The VB.10-02 is armed with:
- 4 x 20 mm Hispano 404 cannons, wing-mounted (150 rpg = 600 total)
- 6 x 12.7 mm Browning M2 machine guns, wing-mounted (400 rpg = 2,400 total)
The VB.10-02 features four Hispano 404 autocannons and six .50 Browning machine guns as the main armaments. The six machine guns and four cannons are arranged in bundles of three and two respectively when mounted in each wing. With ten guns in total, the VB.10-02 is capable of obliterating any target it hits. However, due to the wide gun placement on the wings, this will make actually hitting somewhat challenging, especially during turns or head-ons engagements.
While powerful, the stock Hispano 404 cannons still retains its notorious tendency to jam in a rapid burst. This, combined with the fact that the "New 20 mm cannons" is a rank 4 modification, will limit the damage output of the plane until the modification is unlocked. In addition, the Hispano 404 also has a rather mediocre selection of belts available, as only the default stock belt and the stealth belt has the best ratio of the HEI shell, while the other rounds is either a rather mediocre SAP-I, an AP shell with no incendiary properties, or a near-useless practice shell. Nevertheless, with four cannons, the Hispano still offers quite a punch against anything hit by it.
Although the VB.10-02 Browning MGs only has an access to the mid-war belts and thus no access to the dreaded API-T belts, the large ammo pool of 2,400 rounds is more than enough against aerial and soft ground targets, especially when used in combination with the Hispanos. The universal belt with the best ratio of API rounds should be your main pick, as it is the closest alternative to the API-T rounds and is still capable of lighting enemy planes on fire.
Usage in battles
Like most heavy fighters, the VB.10-02 does well with a somewhat passive playstyle. Poor manoeuvrability means that dogfights against single engine fighters are generally a bad idea, and boom and zoom tactics should be used instead. Due to the VB.10-02's high dive speed and great energy retention after a dive, the plane performs excellently as an air defence fighter, capable exploiting a group of dogfighting enemies by diving into a preoccupied enemy to attack them and leave unharmed. As such, maintaining altitude advantage and situational awareness is a key of success. While the plane is lacking in armour, the excellent armament does allow you to win head-ons more often than not.
Your biggest threats are G55s and G-series Bf 109s, as they can outperform you in every aspect other than diving speed and burst mass. Due to the mediocre flatline climb speed and a fairly low altitude air spawn, most single engine fighters will climb to 4-5 km before you, so side-climbing and zoom-climbing is recommended. Alternatively, you can simply avoid an engagement with these planes and wait for them to come down to engage your teammates, so that you can attack them while they are unprepared.
Because of the large amount of ammo available, the VB.10-02 can also be played as a ground attacker, capable of raking a large number of kills against small pillboxes, artillery, and AI aircrafts. Though due to the plane's relative poor agility, it is best to do the ground attack either in the late game where only few enemies are left, otherwise this would leave you an easy target.
Manual Engine Control
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
|Separate|| Not controllable
Pros and cons
- Four Hispano autocannons and six Browning MGs offers excellent firepower
- Very good ammunition capacity, especially on the Browning MGs, capable of attacking soft ground targets
- Great diving characteristic; fast diving acceleration, very high wing rip speed, and good energy retention after a dive, good at zoom climbing
- Decent turn rate at medium-to-high speed (~400 - 500 km/h), especially with combat flaps
- Can fly under one engine, thus increasing the chance of surviving the flight back to the airfield
- Large and heavy plane, resulting into mediocre flatline acceleration, poor roll rate, and very poor manoeverabilty at lower speed
- Rudder is unresponsive at high speeds, hampering the horizontal manoevers
- Stock Hispano autocannons jam very quickly
- Wide gun convergence can make lining up shot difficult, especially while turning or head-ons
- Engines and fuel tanks are highly vulenerable to fire damage, the hidden rear-mounted engine can be hit by a chasing enemy
- Engines overheat quickly under WEP
Arsenal first replaced the dual Hispano-Suiza 12Y-31 860 hp engines with the new 12Z-12/13 version, which increased the VB.10-02 horsepower to 1150. The cockpit canopy was also redesigned into a teardrop shape, and weapons were added to it.
Even before the second prototype was tested, the French government, already impressed by projected performance figures, ordered 200 of the aircraft. Unfortunately, because jet propulsion was increasingly seen as the future of fighter planes, interest in piston-engine fighters steadily dropped thereafter. In addition, while the French air force was establishing their own fleet of jet aircraft, they used American and British piston engine fighters as transitional equipment.
Due to waning interest and the use of allied planes in the interim, the French Air Force ultimately cancelled its initial order for the 200 VB.10-02 aircraft in September 1948, after the fourth production aircraft had been delivered. As a result, only six VB.10 aircraft were produced: the two initial prototype models, and the four production models.
- From Devblog
- [Devblog] Arsenal VB.10-02: Professional Striker
- Official data sheet - more details about the performance
|Arsenal Aeronautical (Arsenal de l'Aéronautique)|
|Fighters||VB.10-02 · VB.10C-1|
|France twin-engine fighters and strike aircraft|
|Twin-engine fighters||Potez 630 · Potez 631 · VB.10C-1 · VB.10-02|
|Strike aircraft||Br.693AB2 · ▄AD-4 · ▄AD-4NA|