No. 10502. Sud-Est C.302 (F-BDAD c/n 15)
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Sud-Est LeO C.302

03/31/2011. The 26th of the sixty produced LeO C.30 was finished as the LeO C.30S (registered F-AOLL c/n 26), fitted with a tripod carrying the 'tête sauteuse' (dash pot) jump take off rotor head, and a modified landing gear, disk shock absorbers replacing the bungee type. First flown in 1936, the aircraft was extensively tested, well into 1940, although the tests were never conclusive. It was destroyed in 1944 when the manufacturers facility at Marignane was bombed by the allies in 1944.

The Lioré and Olivier company was nationalized in 1937 and became SNCASE, commonly known as Sud-Est. Sud-Est improved the LeO C.30 into the C.301 for the French Aeronavale. A prototype was also fitted with a tripod for the rotor head, its landing gear was fitted with Messier oleo shock absorbers and a revised rudder. Six production aircraft were produced for the Aeronavale by June 1940, these were fitted with fairings to the landing gear struts, containing balloons so the aircraft would float when landing at sea.

The pictured C.302 was one of two produced by Sud-Est during WW II, using many spare parts and parts of the destroyed LeO C.30S, including a LeO C.30 fuselage, Sud-Est C.301 stabilizer and landing gear, Hafner dash pot rotor head and a new set of blades. The first was also destroyed during
WW II, the second was tested into the late 1940s. On April 8, 1953, it was registered to the Aéroclub Louis Rouland, the aeroclub for Sud-Est (presently Eurocopter) personnel, and still is as of this day, although it is on display at the Musée de l'Air, Le Bourget (photographed by Nico Braas).

Created March 31, 2011