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Dewoitine D.500/501/503/510/511
A Dewoitine 510 at Martlesham Down (UK) in October 1936
Role Fighter aircraft
Manufacturer Dewoitine
Designer Émile Dewoitine
First flight 1932-06-18
Introduction July 1935
Status Retired
Primary users French Air Force
Aviation Navale
Number built 381

The Dewoitine D.500 was an all-metal, open-cockpit, fixed-undercarriage monoplane fighter aircraft, used by the French Air Force in the 1930s. Introduced in 1936, the design was soon replaced by a new generation of fighter aircraft with enclosed cockpits and retractable undercarriage, including the 510's successor, the Dewoitine D.520.


The D.500, designed by Émile Dewoitine, was based on C1 specifications issued in 1930 by the French Air Ministry, and was to be a replacement for the Nieuport 62. The prototype first flew on 18 June 1932.[1] In November 1933, sixty aircraft were ordered, with the first production D.500 flying on 29 November 1934.[1] Aircraft armed with a 20 mm cannon firing through the propeller hub - instead of two nose-mounted machine guns - received the designation D.501. A total of 381 D.500s and its derivatives were built.[citation needed]

Heller Dewoitine D.510

A scale model of a D.510 in French Air Force markings

Operational historyEdit

The D.500 and D.501 entered service in July 1935, with the more powerful D.510 joining them in October 1936. They were the primary fighters employed by the Armée de l'Air until their replacement by the Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 in 1939. As of September 1939, the D.500/501 had been relegated to regional defense and training squadrons.[1] At the start of World War II, D.510s were still in operation with three Groupes de Chasse (Fighter Groups), two Escadrilles Régionale de Chasse (Regional Fighter Squadrons in North Africa), and two Escadrilles de Aéronautique Navale (Naval Aviation Squadrons).[1]

In Morocco, one escadrille of D.510s (ERC571) was activated in November 1939. These planes lacked cannon. In May 1940, this escadrille merged with ERC 573 to form GC III/4. This groupe was disbanded by the end of August 1940. At Dakar, one groupe designated GC I/6, remained in service until being replaced by Curtiss H-75s at the end of 1941.[citation needed]

Fourteen D.501s (named D.501L) originally sold to Lithuania and two D.510s ostensibly intended for the Emirate of Hedjaz saw service in the Spanish Civil War, arriving in mid-1936. When the French government found out about the delivery of the D.510s, they demanded the return of the 12Y engines. The aircraft were then refitted with Klimov M-100s (a Soviet-built copy of the 12Y) from a Tupolev SB bomber.[1] The aircraft served with the Republican forces. The two 510s were posted to the 71st Coastal Defense Group. Neither engaged enemy fighters. In 1938, one was irreparably damaged while landing and the other was destroyed on a runway during a bombing attack.[citation needed]

In 1938, 18 Chinese D.510s saw action against the Japanese, including the defense of Chengdu and the Chinese wartime capital Chongqing.[citation needed]


Source: Green[1]

First prototype aircraft.
First production version with a Hispano-Suiza 12Xbrs engine with 515 kW (690 hp), it was armed with 2 × 7.7 mm (.303 in) Vickers machine guns or 2 × 7.5 mm (.295 in) Darne machine guns in the nose, provision for 2 × additional Darnes in the wings. 101 built.
Dewoitine BA 112
Re-engined with a Hispano-Suiza 12Xcrs engine, it was armed with a 20 mm Hispano-Suiza S7 cannon between the engine cylinder banks firing through the propeller hub and 2 × wing-mounted machine guns. 157 built.
The sole D.511 prototype fitted with a 12Xcrs engine with a circular radiator in the nose, it had the same armament as the D.501. Its first flight was in 15 April 1935, it was found to perform worse than the D.500. The aircraft was briefly the personal mount of René Fonck.
Re-engined with Hispano-Suiza 12Ycrs producing 640 kW (860 hp), armed with a 20 mm Hispano cannon and 2 × 7.5 mm (.295 in) MAC 1934 machine guns in the wings. Its first flight was on 14 August 1934, 120 built.
Prototype with D.500 fuselage and tail, it had smaller wings, a cantilever undercarriage and a 12Ycrs engine. One prototype was built in 1934 but never flown; it was converted to the D.503.
The short designation for the single Dewoitine D.510 supplied to the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service for evaluation in 1935.
Dewoitine Navy Type D Carrier Fighter
Long service designation for the D.510 which was supplied to the IJNAS in 1935.


Flag of the Republic of China.svg Republic of China (1912–1949): 24 D.510
Flag of France.svg France
French Air Force 98 x D.500, 130 x D.501 and 88 x D.510
Aviation Navale 30 x D.501
Flag of Japan.svg Japan: Japanese Imperial Navy 2 x D.510 designated as AXD
Flag of Lithuania (1918–1940).svg Lithuania: 14 x D.501
Flag of Poland.svg Poland: Polish Air Forces in exile in France
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Soviet Union: Soviet Air Force 1 x D.510 for evaluation
Flag of Spain (1931–1939).svg Spain: Spanish Republican Air Force. 7 x D.500 and 2 x D.510 in the Escuadrilla Internacional.
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom: One x 510 for evaluation
Flag of Venezuela.svg Venezuela: Venezuelan Air Force. 3 D.500

Specifications (D.510)Edit

Data from Green[1]

General characteristics
  • Crew: one
  • Length: 7.94 m (26 ft 1 in)
  • Wingspan: 12.09 m (39 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 2.42 m (7 ft 11 in)
  • Wing area: 16.50 m² (177.61 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 1,496 kg (3,298 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 1,929 kg (4,253 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Hispano-Suiza 12Ycrs V12 engine, 640 kW (860 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 402 km/h (217 kn, 250 mph) at 5,000 m (16,405 ft)
  • Range: 700 km (380 nmi, 435 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 11,000 m (36,090 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 14.85 m/s (9,600 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 117 kg/m² (23.9 lb/ft²)
  • Power/mass: 330 W/kg (0.20 hp/lb)
  • Time to altitude: 1.32 min to 1000 m (3,280 ft)</ul></ul>Armament

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Green, W; Swanborough, G (2001). The great book of fighters. MBI Publishing. ISBN 0-7603-1194-3. 
  • Breffort, Dominique (April 2005). French Aircraft from 1939 to 1942: Volume 2. Histoire and Collections. ISBN 2-915239-49-5. 
  • Weal, Elke C.; Weal, John A., Barker, Richard F. (1977). Combat Aircraft of World War Two. Bracken Books. ISBN 0-946495-43-2. 

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