Latécoère 631 "Èole"
|| 5 + 46 seat passenger carrying flying boat
|| 6 Wright R-2600-C14 with 3-bladed constant speed propellers
|| Length 43,46 m , height 10,1 m , span 57,43 m , wing area 349,4 m2 ,
|| Empty 32400 kg, loaded 71350 kg , max. take off weight
|| Max.. speed 394 km/h , cruising speed 297 km/h , range 6035 km, endurance , service ceiling , climb
||First flight November 4, 1942. Destroyed April 7, 1944 at Lake Constance by RAF
The giant transatlantic seaplane Laté 631, built on the West Coast, was transferred by road to Marignane to carry out its first flight. It was under registration F-BAHG that it took off for the first time on November 4, 1942 piloted by Pierre Crespy. But a few days later, the Germans took authority over the Marignane installations. In April, authorities announced their decision to seize the three transatlantic seaplanes being tested at Marignane: the Laté 631 and its competitors SE-200 and Potez-CAMS 161. This seizure was first presented as a requisition, then declared as "spoils of war", thus closing the demands to any compensation claimed by France.
The Laté 631 received the type designation "Éole", but did not resume its flights until after 6 months of interruption, June 22, 1943, registered 63 + 11. Air France Transatlantique's orange paints had been replaced by more discreet gray paints with bands of yellow under the wings and across the fuselage. Only a few orange parts remained on the nose and under the tail.
Test flights followed one at Marignane, notably take-offs overloaded at more than 70 tonnes. January 22, 1944, interbreaking a test in progress, a German crew came to replace the French crew and the pilot von Engel flew Laté 631 to Lake Constance, near Friedrichshafen, joining the SE-200 which departed a few days before. The two large French seaplanes remained in Germany where they were sunk together with a 63 + 11 n ° 01 ex F-BAHG LeO H246 April 7, 1944, on Lake Constance, during an attack by two RAF Mosquito.