fighter plane


Dewoitine D.520 fighter plane

Manufactured by SNCAM - formerly Dewoitine - c.1938, introduced in 1940.

Primary Gun

Hispano-Suiza HS.404 Mle 1938 autocannon

Designed by Marc Birkigt.
20x110mm 60-round drum magazine
Gas operated, delayed blowback
500 r/m

Located in the engine and firing through the propeller’s shaft.

Secondary Guns

MAC 1934 M1939 machine gun

An aircraft variant of the Mle 1931 Reibel.
7,5x54mm MAS Mle 1929 675-round belt
Gas operated
1450 r/m

Two in each wing.


Hispano-Suiza 12Y-45 engine

Pictured here with its autocannon.
12-cylinder V-type, 930 horsepower

It gave the D.520 a top speed of 540km/h and a range of 1540km

Empty weight of 2092 and 2790 when loaded.
Less than 900 produced.

Arguably the best French fighter of the World War 2, similar in many aspects to the earlier Messerschmitt Bf109, with a better autonomy, maneuverability and ease of maintenance but failing to attain anywhere near its production run before the fall of France.

View of Ruth Ripley and Rita Sabatini riveting a Kingcobra fighter plane cabin at the Hudson Motor Car Company factory. Label on back: “Hudson Motor Car Co., Detroit, Mich. Publication approved by Army Air Forces. Hudson builds Kingcobra cabins. Armored cabins for a powerful new fighter plane, the P-63 Kingcobra, a product of the Bell Aircraft Corp., of Buffalo, are being built by the Hudson Motor Car Co. in one of its Detroit plants. The plane was named after a very venomous snake found in India and the Philippines. The Kingcobra cabins are so small and compact that only one person can work inside them while they are being built. Ruth Ripley is operating the riveting gun while Rita Sabatini holds the bucking bar in this photo taken on the busy Hudson production line. Heavy bullet-proof glass is placed in the windshield and roof of the cabin further along the line.” Handwritten on back: “Women workers.” 1942-1945

  • Courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection, Detroit Public Library