|Breguet Provence 306, makred as F-BACC.|
|The distinctive Breguet Provence started life as a 1944 design for a
passenger or freight aircraft capable of carrying far larger payloads than was
The Br761 Deux Ponts eventually flew for the first time on February 15, 1949 powered by four 1,580hp SNECMA-built Gnome-Rhone 14R piston engines. Three further aircraft used Pratt and Whitney R-2800s and featured three tail fins for the first time.
Despite the four development aircraft showing promise, Air France was reluctant to place an order and after one aircraft briefly served with Silver City and another with Air Algerie the aircraft passed to the French Armee de l'Air.
An improved version, with 2,400hp R2800 engines, was proposed as the Br763 Provence and this time Air France ordered 12. The type first flew on July 20, 1951 and the airline put the first into service in March 1953, carrying 59 passengers on the top deck and 48 on the lower.
Six were passed to the air force for use in the Far East but Air France continued to get good service out of the remaining aircraft as freighters until 1971.
The six military transports were named Saharas and the Armee de l'Air soldiered on with the last of its 13 machines until 1972.
Three survived the scrapman, all of which are preserved in France.
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