Breguet XIX A2B2



Breguet 19 B-44




Breguet XIX A2B2

Single engine, two seat observation aircraft and bomber


   Already in November 1921 the Breguet company, presented a (yet to be flown) prototype of the Breguet 19 (also Breguet XIX) at the 7th Salon de l’Aéronautique at Paris. This machine was to replace the firm’s very successful wartime Breguet 14. Based on new design techniques, the Breguet 19 was of all metal construction and powered by a capricious 8 cylinder Breguet-Bugatti engine. First flight took place in May 1922 in the hands of company test-pilot Robert Thierry. Further development of the aircraft did away with the initial engine in favor of a Lorraine-Dietrich, a Hispano or a Renault engine all being 12 cylinder power plants with a power range between 400 and 500 hp. Thanks to its superior performance the Breguet 19 was a large commercial success with an estimates global production of between 1700 and 1900 units.

   Belgian interest in the Breguet 19 can be traced back to November 1922 when the prototype of the aircraft was presented at Evere. The Belgian aeronautics company SABCA, founded on December 6th, 1920, immediately saw an opportunity to develop its emerging capabilities and started negotiations for the license production of the “19”. This resulted in the order of 6 Breguets, two of which powered by the Lorraine-Dietrich 450hp, two equipped with the Renault 480hp engine and finally two machines with the Hispano-Suiza of 450hp. Clearly the Belgian authorities had a difficult time deciding on the standard power plant to be used. Before Sabca started delivery of a first batch of 25 aircraft ordered by the Belgian government in 1927, a 7th aircraft was delivered directly from the Breguet plant. More than probably this aircraft was the Breguet 19GR (Grand Raid) which was used for an ill-fated “raid” to Belgian Congo on 11 November 1927. Some sources mention this aircraft as having received the AéM serial B-7. The first ten Breguet 19 aircraft (B-8 to B-17) delivered from the SABCA production line arrived on February 10th, 1928. From then onward SABCA delivers an average of two aircraft weekly.  Two versions of the Breguet 19 were ordered; the A2 optimized for observation and the B2 which was the bomber version of this Breguet. Very soon the differences between the two types faded away and as such the aircraft were designated by the Aéronautique Militaire Belge as Bre19ᴬ2ᴮ2. By May 1930 SABCA delivered the last of the 153 Breguet 19’s used by the Belgian armed forces. No less than 13 Belgian units operated the Breguet 19: 1/I/1Aé (Mouette), 3/I/1Aé (Feuille de Houx), 5/III/1Aé (Hirondelle), 7/III/1Aé (Mephisto), 5/I/3Aé (Chauffe-Souris), 9/IV/1 AéM (Dragon), 11/IV/1Aé (Marabout, 6/III/1Aé (Abeille), 9/V/1Aé (Elephant circle rouge), 11/V/1Aé (Elephant circle vert), 5/III/3Aé (Faucon Egyptien), l(Ecole de Perfectionnement (Pinguin) and the Ecole d’aéronautique (Cactoé). The last Breguet's were used at Oostende until 1939 as target tugs for the Ecole de Tir, while some weary examples soldiered on until the outbreak of World War II as communication aircraft. Unfortunately none of the Belgian Breguet 19’s was preserved for posterity.

     In its day, the Breguet was a fabulous machine which was also used to set some records and execute some daring raids. As previously mentioned two aircraft called “Reine Elisabeth” were used to set or to attempt liaison records between Belgium and its colony Congo. The first “Reine Elisabeth” (registered B-5 c/n 302) crewed by Georges Medaets (pilot) Jean Verhaeghen (navigator) and Joseph Coppens (mechanic) made a return trip to Congo between March 9th and April 12th 1926, taking some 100 hrs. of flying time for a flight of 18.430 km, including some 14 stopovers. A second attempt with a new “Reine Elisabeth” (possibly registered B-7) ended in a crash landing at La Ferté sur Aube (F.) on November 11th, 1927. Another raid to Congo was executed by the crew Fabry and Verlinden with the non-modified B-5 but this time civilian registered as OO-AKP. The main objective of this raid was to establish the most practical route between Belgium and the Congo. On September 5th, 1929 the crew Robert “Pitchou” Lang and Louis Crooij established a new Belgian altitude record in reaching 8980 meters with their Hispano powered Breguet 19 B-22. (D. Brackx)

Picture  Serial Date In Date Out History
B-1 Jul 1925 - Lorraine engine, B-1, c/n 198, 6/III/1Aé Squadron (Abeille)
B-17 Feb 1928 - Hispano engine, B-17, 7/IV/1Aé Squadron (Mephisto)
B-18 1928 _ Hispano engine, B-18
B-31 Jun 1928 - Hispano engine, 3/I/1Aé Squadron (Feuille de Houx)
B-33 Jul 1928 - Lorraine engine, B-33
B-34 1928 - Lorraine engine, B-34, 3/I/1Aé Squadron (Feuille de Houx), 1/I/1Aé Squadron (Mouette)
B-37 1928 - Lorraine engine, B-37, Ecole de Perfectionnement (Pingouin).
B-39 Sep 1928 - Lorraine engine, B-39, 9/IV/1 AéM (Dragon).
B-40 1928 - Lorraine engine, B-40
B-41 1928 - Lorraine engine, B-41
B-42 1928 1936 Lorraine engine, B-42, 3/I/1Aé Squadron (Feuille de Houx),
Accident at Beernem in March 1936. 
B-44 1928 - Lorraine engine, B-44
B-49 1928 - Lorraine engine, B-49, 11/IV/1Aé (Marabout)
B-50 1928 - Lorraine engine, B-50
B-60 1928 - Lorraine engine, B-60, 1/III/2Aé (Elephant bande rouge)
B-61 1928 - Lorraine engine, B-61, 7/IV/1Aé Squadron (Mephisto), 3/I/1Aé Squadron (Feuille de Houx)
B-93 1929 Sep 1933 Lorraine engine, B-93, Crashed at Taisset (Remicourt) on 25 Sep 1933.
B-100 1929 - Hispano-Suiza engine, B-100, 1/I/1Aé Squadron (Mouette)
B-118 1929 1939/40 Hispano-Suiza engine, B-118, 1/I/1Aé Squadron (Mouette)
Breguet 19 B5/302, the first "Reine Elisabeth", during its epic flight from Belgium to the Congo in 1926.





Last updated 13/09/18 07:58   Daniel Brackx