1/28/1935: First Flight of the Potez 62

The Potez 62 was a French built, twin-engined civilian airliner that took to the skies on this day in 1935.

Lee

Cross

January 28, 2024

DALLAS — Today, in 1935, the French-made twin-engine commercial airplane, the Potez 62, made its maiden flight.

The Potez 62's designer was Henry Potez, a French aviation engineer who established his company, Aviation Potez, in 1919. During World War I, his factory-built land and seaplanes were regarded as some of the most advanced in the world, with many of them setting multiple world records.

Potez subsequently aimed to enter the civilian market and developed the Potez 62 as an evolution of the Potez 54 bomber.

Potez 62 interior. Photo: Le Pontential Aérien Mondial 1936, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Airline Workhorse

The Potez 62, a high-wing monoplane, featured a wooden fuselage, a composite coating, and a retractable undercarriage. Its wings were covered in fabric with metal leading edges. Two Gnôme & Rhône radial engines were powering the aircraft, allowing it to reach speeds of up to 200 mph. The cabin was divided into two compartments and could accommodate 14 to 16 passengers.

In July 1935, Air France (AF), which was formed through the merger of five small French airlines, introduced the Potez 62 to its fleet. Its inaugural flight was on a new route connecting London and Rome, and it quickly established itself as the primary aircraft for the airline.

Despite its relatively slow speeds, the Potez 62 was known for its durability and reliability. It was utilized on routes in South America and the Far East.

1936 advertisement for Air France services on Potez 62 aircraft. Photo: Air France (ad), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Featured image: Potez 62 photo from L'Aerophile, February 1936. Photo: L'Aerophile magazine, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons