Dewoitine D.333

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Dewoitine D.332 Emeraude, D.333
Dewoitine D.333 Cassiopée F-ANQB Algérie 1938.jpg
D.333 F-ANQB Cassiopée
Type: Passenger aircraft
Design Land:

FranceFrankreich France



First flight:

11. July 1933




332: 1
333: 3

The Dewoitine D.332 and D.333 were precursors of the Dewoitine D.338.
They were three-engined low-wing aircraft of all-metal construction with a rigid undercarriage.
The prototype D.332 was already lost in 1934 by crash.
The three Dewoitine D.333 series aircraft were used on the mail route to South America from 1936. At the end of 1937, the two remaining machines were transferred to South America and flew there for Air France until 1940.

Building history

The prototype D.332 Emeraude

The Dewoitine D.332 was a three-engined all-metal low-wing monoplane. It was the prototype for a mail and passenger aircraft for the line to French Indochina. In the pilot’s cabin immediately forward of the wing, the captain and co-pilot sat side by side, and behind them was the radio operator’s station. Adjacent to this, behind the wing, was a cabin for eight passengers. The front legs of the rigid landing gear had a trouser-like fairing. The aircraft was powered by three Hispano-Suiza 9V radial engines, which were licensed versions of the American Wright Cyclone engine.

Prototype inserts

The Emeraude before departure to Saigon

The prototype first flew on 11 July 1933 with the name Emeraude (French: “Emerald”) and then made demonstration flights to various European capitals. On 7 September 1933, the Emeraude achieved a class world record when, under Marcel Doret with Terrasson and Lecarme, it reached a speed of 259.56 km/h over 1000 km over Villacoublay with a payload of 2,000 kg[1] and over 2000 km 255,25 km/h; with it she broke also the existing records for payloads of 1000 kg and 500 kg during the nearly eight-hour flight over 2000 km.[2]
As the type was to be used by Air France to Indochina, the aircraft took off as F-AMMY on 21 December 1933 for a demonstration flight to Saigon, where it arrived on 28 December 1933 after a flight time of 48.5 hours and fulfilled the expectations of its future users. On the return flight, just 400 km from its destination of Paris-Le Bourget, the Emeraude crashed into a hill near Corbigny (Département Nièvre) in a heavy snowstorm on the evening of 15 January 1934 and was totally destroyed. All ten occupants burned to death with the aircraft. The Emeraude had left Saigon on 5 January 1934 and had flown to Lyon via Karachi, Baghdad and Marseille, among other places. The cause of the crash was probably severe icing of the aircraft.
On board, in addition to the crew, were André Launay (pilot), who had already made mail flights with Fokker F.VIIs from Syria to Indochina, Camille Crampel (flight engineer) and Ferdinand Queyrelm (radio navigator), as well as, as passengers, the Governor General of Indochina, Pierre M. A. Pasquier (* 1877), the Air France directors Maurice Noguès (* 1889)[3] and Maurice Balazuc, the Director General for Civil Aviation of the French Ministry of Aviation, Emmanuel Chaumié (* 1890) with his wife Colette and his assistant Captain Brusseau, as well as the journalist Jean-Jacques Larrieu, who was to report on the flight for the Ministry of Aviation.[4][5][6]

The Dewoitine D.333

Fuselage parts of the Dewoitine D.333 before assembly

Despite the most serious accident for the newly formed airline for quite a few years, Air France ordered three aircraft of a considerably strengthened version as Dewoitine D.333. The improved ten-passenger model was over 1.5 tonnes heavier and first flew from Toulouse-Francazal on 17 January 1935 under the provisional registration F-AKHA.

First Dewoitine D.333 with her temporary registration number

The first aircraft was delivered to Air France on 4 May 1935 as F-ANQA with the name Antarès. It was followed by the F-ANQB Cassiope in May 1935 and the F-ANQC Altair in March 1936. On May 8, 1936, permission was granted for the type to carry passengers and the aircraft were used on the mail route from Toulouse via Casablanca to Dakar. The first operation with passengers between Toulouse and Casablanca was with the Antarèsin July 1936
On a flight from Dakar to Casablanca, the Antarès(F-ANQA) disappeared on 25 October 1937 during heavy thunderstorms off the Moroccan coast. As with the victims of the 1934 crash of the Emeraude, a memorial service was held for the six people missing with the Antarès(five members of the Air France[7] and one other passenger), a memorial service was held in the Invalides Cathedral in Paris[8]

The prototype of the improved Dewoitine D.338

In December 1937, Air France decided to transfer the two remaining aircraft to South America and replace them with the improved Dewoitine D.338 with 15 passenger seats on the route from France to Dakar. On 13 December 1937, F-ANQB Cassiopée under Léon Antoine became the first Dewoitine D.333 to be transferred by air from Dakar to South America with one passenger.[9] The F-ANQC Altair followed in March 1938.
From March 1939, the new Dewoitine D.338 F-AQBR (Wn°18, Ville de Pau) and F-AQBT (Wn°20, Ville de Chatres) replaced the Cassiopée and Altaïr on the Natal to Buenos Aires route. The two older D.333s were based in the Argentine capital and were used on the route to the Andes, which were, however, flown over by twin-engined Potez 62s (from 1936) and then Douglas DC 3s (F-ARQJ, 1939), and in Argentina.
Until the French surrender in June 1940, the two Dewoitine D.333 remained in service on the South American portion of the postal line and were in what remained neutral Argentina at the time of the French surrender.

In Argentine service

Flag of Argentina.svg

The Dewoitine D.333 aircraft, decommissioned in Buenos Aires, were sold to the Argentine Air Force in 1942, which used them as T-172 (ex-F-ANQB Cassiopée) and T-173 (ex-F-ANQC Altaïr) in the 2nd Transport Squadron from El Palomar near Buenos Aires until July 1946 and 1947 respectively. In 1943 Argentina also purchased the two Dewoitine D.338s from Air France in South America, which were used as T-170s and T-171s in the same squadron until 1947.[10] The buyer of the four aircraft was the Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC), which, however, handed the aircraft over to the Argentine Air Force after acquisition, where they were finally decommissioned in 1947.

Technical data

Parameter Dewoitine D.332[11] D.333[12] Bloch MB-300[13] D.338[14] D.620[15] D.342[16]
First flight 11.07.1933 17.01.1935 11.1935 9.08.1935 22.10.1936 23.11.1938
built 1 3 1 31 1 1
Crew 3 3 3 3 3 3
Passengers 8 10 24 12 to 22 30 24
Length 18,95 m 19,20 m 25,31 m 22,13 m 23,59 m 22,13 m
Span 29,00 m 28,79 m 28,89 m 29,38 m 29,36 m 26,95 m
Height 5,350 m 5,84 m 6,25 m 5,27 m 5,72 m 5,57 m
Wing area 96 m² 99 m² 82 m²
Empty mass 5.010 kg 6.775 kg 8.875 kg 7.905 kg 6.900 kg
Launch mass 9.340 kg 11.000 kg 13.075 kg 11.150 kg 12.760 kg 15.500 kg
Cruising speed 250 km/h 260 km/h 285 km/h 260 km/h 300 km/h
Maximum speed 300 km/h 300 km/h 330 km/h 310 km/h 350 km/h 390 km/h
Service ceiling 6500 m 6500 m 8000 m 4900 m 7700 m
Range 2000 km 2025 km 1400 km 2060 km 2100 km 1000 km
three engines Hispano-Suiza 9V HS 9V-10 Gnome & Rhone 14K HS 9V-17 G&R 14 Kdrs G&R 14 N
Power 3 × 575 HP 575 HP 915 HP 650 HP 740 HP 960 HP


  • Gérard Bousquet: Les Paquebots Volants – Les hydravions transocéaniques francais, éditions Larivière, 2006, ISBN 2-914205-00-7.
  • Carlo Demand: Die großen Atlantikflüge 1919 bis heute. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 1983, ISBN 3-87943-909-5.
  • Kenneth Munson: Commercial Aircraft 1919-1939, Orell Füssli Verlag, Zurich 1974, ISBN 3-280-00653-8
  • Jean Romeyer: L’Aviation Civile Francaise, de Gigord 3rd edition, Paris 1938,

Web links

Individual references

  1. FAI Record File Num #8809
  2. FAI Record File Num #8810, #8811, #8812
  3. Noguès came from Air Orient and its predecessor Air Union Lignes d’Orient and had contributed significantly to the opening of the postal line to Indochina, he carried out the first flight with a Fokker F.VII from Syria to Indochina.
  4. Dewoitine 332 Emeraude
  5. Pierre Lauroua: L’aviation civile – une administration dans Paris – 1919-2009. Mission Mémoire de l’aviation civile, 2012, ISBN 978-2-11-129156-0, p. 14 ( French, full text on
  6. Pierre Lauroua: L’aviation civile – une administration dans Paris – 1919-2009. Mission Mémoire de l’aviation civile, 2012, ISBN 978-2-11-129156-0, p. 15 ( French, full text on
  7. Crew: Pilot Marcel Goret, radio operator Rene Bourguignon and mechanic Auguste Trastour as well as the company’s chief pilot Paul Guerrero (* 1902, 56 Atlantic flights) and navigator André Salvat as passengers, who had been part of the record-breaking flight crew of the Farman F.222 F-APKY Ville de Dakar to South America on 17 October 1937
  8. Invitation card for the celebration on 2 December 1937
  9. Demand: Atlantic Flights, p. 85, 199
  10. Comodoro (R) Roberto BRIEND : Aviones que equiparon a la Aviación Militar Argentina – Parte III
  11. Dewoitine D.332 Emeraude
  12. Dewoitine D.333
  13. Bloch MB-300 Pacifique
  14. Dewoitine D.338
  15. Dewoitine D.620
  16. Dewoitine D.342