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Dirk Derks
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Breguet br. 1150 Atlantic

October 31, 2020 · in Aviation · · 24 ≡

Development and design:
The Atlantic is a NATO project that found its origin in the fifties of the last century. The first official order was placed on June 6, 1963. It comprised 20 aircraft for the France Naval Air Arm. Followed by 20 aircraft for the Federal German Navy. (Marineflieger) In a later stadium the France Navy ordered another 20 aircraft. These 60 airframes were all delivered at the end of 1968. That same year the Royal Netherlands Navy ordered nine aircraft, as a replacement for the decommissioned aircraft carrier Hr.Ms. Karel Doorman.
Italy also joined the French-German consortium with Aeritalia and Alfa Romea and ordered 18 aircraft in October 1968.
In 1986 the French Navy sold 3 airframes to the Pakistan Navy
As mentioned, twenty airframes were delivered to the German Federal Naval Air Arm (Marineflieger) between 1966/1967. One was lost in a crash during landing due to crew failure. Due to the fact this was a short test sortie, the crew consisting out of pilot, co-pilot and flight engineer could depart the aircraft without loss of life.
The damage was so extensive, that the aircraft was a complete write off. Cause of accident: “The aircraft landed in such a steep angle without correction just for touch down, that the aircraft collapsed on impact, and it more or less completely toppled over and broke off behind the nose section” (picture attached)
So, you can say, that the Marineflieger, taking into consideration that the aircraft was operational from 1966 until 2008, achieved an excellent safety record
Capabilities in General:
Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) are the eyes of the fleet. Far over the horizon it can search vast areas to find and report / attack surface and submersed assets, or as more recently seen, anti-piracy patrols. Due to the high-tech assets, Flag Officers from Task groups are highly depending on these flying information centers.

Flight Characteristics in General:
The aircraft empty weighs 24.000 KG. Maximum take-off weight by a long-range maritime patrol is 43.500 kg. Extraordinary is the fact that it can also land with the same weight in the airframe.
Length:31.75 – Width 36.30 – Height 11.33 (All meters)

The very reliable 2 Rolls Royce Tyne R. Type 20 MK21, each with 6105 HP, makes sure there is enough thrust for comfortable maneuvering the aircraft in all kinds of weather conditions. When the throttle is fully opened, it can reach a speed of 300 knots = 556 KM/H. Normal procedure during patrols are 170 knots = 314 KM/H. Fully topped up, under good conditions, it can “Hang” in the air for 18 hours.
Flight level: From just above sea level to 10 KM maximum (32800 feet).
Due to its special (boat-shape), it was able to stay afloat after a water landing in calm conditions.
(See attached picture from a Dutch Atlantic in the drink. Perfect landing an no casualties.)

Normally 12 persons, but there is seating arrangement for 25 persons. The aircrew is not under the command of the senior flight officer, but the Tactical Coordinator. Basically, this officer is responsible for carrying out the tasking. The Senior pilot is responsible for flight safety and follows the orders from the Tactical Coordinator. The third person in the cockpit is the flight engineer, normally a highly experienced Senior Non-Commissioned officer (SNCO – WO/WO1). Operating the on-board sensors is performed by officers and NCO/SNCO. There is a galley and dedicated toilet on board. (Not on the Neptune's). If necessary, part of the crew can rest in folding berths.

Depth charges, AS12 rockets, MK44 torpedoes, laser guided bombs (French Navy), cargo canisters, SAR equipment.

The French, Italian and German Navy constantly updated airframes during their life cycle. These updates were far reaching to keep them state of the art. Some airframes were even modernized to function in the ELINT role. (Electronic Intelligence Gathering)

Current situation regarding the fleet of Atlantics.
At this moment, the German Atlantics are all decommissioned. Some found their way to museums, but most airframes ended up on the scrap yard. The Atlantic has been replaced by second hand former Royal Netherlands Navy Lockheed P-3C Orions.

The French Naval Air Force is still operating several the Atlantic NG (New Generation).

The Italian Air Force, after 45 years of service, has decommissioned its fleet of Atlantics and is in the process of replacing the Breguet with the P-72A, a militarized ATR-72-600.

The Netherlands:
The Netherlands lost three out of its fleet of nine with loss of life. In 1984 the last operational flight was performed to the North Atlantic. Destination was the weather ship "Cumulus" . Responsible for making meteorological observations for shipping, air lines, and shorestations . The crew had to drop a mail canister with mail and goodies for Christmas. The Atlantics were replaced by thirteen P-3 Orions.

In November 1985, the remaining six airframes were sold to the French government. Rumors suggest, that of this batch, three were sold to the Pakistan Navy. Serving 29 Squadron at the Naval Air Base Karachi-Faisal, near Naval Base Mehran. Fact is that a Pakistan Atlantic was shot down by an Indian Air Force MIG 21 on the 10th of August 1999. No survivors.

The Kit:
This came about in 2003, with the kit numbers 04329-04384.
Bringing this model on the market was a risk. Big, ugly, and not highly trendy, but fellow modelers, an important maritime military aircraft. Thank you Revell for bringing this model on the market.
It builds like a dream. The only thing I missed was the extra wing spar as extra support / alignment for the (large) wings. I made my own wing spar. I got it wrong with the weight and ended up with a tail sitter, despite adding 80 grams in an Evergreen box, filled with PVC glue.
Most difficult, was the Super Decal Sheet. It represents the German Federal Flag, over the full length from the airframe. After completing this lengthy task, I still needed to airbrush, to get the flag complete. I can assure you, that additional airbrushing next and onto decals is nerve wrecking. You cannot use tape and must resort to pieces of carton. Loose in the hand and hope for the best. It worked out.
The crew access at the end of the airframe is open, with complete interior until the pressurized door from the crew compartment. The weapons bay is open and loaded with torpedoes and depth charges. Interesting is the weapon bay door, is that they slide open on a rail, directly next to the airframe. The first slide (port and starboard) has a flexible middle, so that it can form around the root of the wing.

This diorama depicts German Navy Atlantic 61-11 in an incredibly special paint scheme, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the German Air Force in 2006. This specific Atlantic belonged to Marineflieger Geschwader 3 and was home based on the Fliegerhorst (Naval Air Station (NAS) Nordholz.
The apron is quite large and gives the opportunity to add a flight crew and some vehicles to make it livelier. A time-consuming subject, and I am glad it is finished.

Additional figurines and vehicles:
The flight crew (Shapeways Figurines) are posed near the back entrance and is being photographed by the base photographer (ReedOak Figurines). Maintenance crew is from Preiser.
Vehicles: 5ton MAN GP truck (Revell) – VW 2T Pick-up (PJ production) – Unimog tow tractor (Planet Models) – Tow bar (Revell) – Mobile air conditioning unit (Hasegawa) - APU for electric power (Hasegawa). This APU was not in use by the German Navy, but this example was in the stash.
The gras is from the German firm Noch.
The whole scene is very lightly weathered with a mix of umber oil/white spirit.


  1. Breguet Atlantic in Dutch Service 1969-1984 by Martin de Boer
  2. Air Forces magazines (Italian Air Force)
  3. Air Relic magazines French Breguet
  4. This month in Scale Aircraft Modelling Volume 42, issue 09-11-2020

Thanks for watching and reading this rather long information sheet.

Regards, Orion
The Netherlands.

Reader reactions:
10  Awesome

15 additional images. Click to enlarge.

24 responses

  1. An amazing build, Dirk!

  2. A sharp,tight build of a sleeper kit. Love the dio with the crew and the photographer too.

    Dirk, the first prototype of the Atlantic was supposed to have been painted up with a day-glow orange paint job and was shorter than the production aircraft. I've come across a artist rendition but, haven't been able to find photo's of the aircraft. I wonder if you have come a cross any info given your bio of the aircraft?

    Two thumbs up. Thank you for sharing you don't see these kits built up often.

    • Hello Steven,
      Absolutely right.
      The first prototype made its maiden flight at Toulouse on 21 October 1961, with the second prototype flying on 25 February 1962, followed by two pre-production aircraft with a longer fuselage in February 1963 and September 1964.
      I did send some mails to the French Aviation Industry for some pictures.

      • Hello Stephen,
        Recieved a picture from the Dassault Aviation.
        In the mail, attached: The Atlantic prototype "02" short version.
        That was all that was on offer.
        I have send some more mails to France, so maybe more to come.
        Regards, Dirk.

        1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

        • Hello Steven,
          All the way from the USA (Florida) I received two pages from a magazine, called the observers book of aircraft from 1962.
          It shows the Atlantic in partly dayglo paint scheme.

          1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  3. I really enjoyed this post, the history is interesting, the model is great and the diorama is exactly the right finishing touch. Definitely liked.

  4. Fantastic model, Dirk (@orion). The paint scheme is awesome, and you work with the figures really adds to the model.

  5. Well done Dirk, lovely model of a colourful subject, nicely presented !

  6. Hi Dirk!

    This is a wonderful allover job.

    You brought the most out of this good kit, excelling in the very difficult paint/decal scheme.

    The supporting equipment and whole diorama is perfect, spotless too.

    You've put a lot of quality work here and it shows.

    I loved your text presentation: thorough and consistent for this important aircraft. Nice supporting actual pics, and I also liked your build's black and white one.

    I have a copy of this kit, planning to build it some day, and I will take into account the spar reinforcement and the resulting tailsitting.

    Kudos to Revell for the kit and to you for the excellent build!

  7. Lovely work Dirk, the model and diorama look excellent

  8. Nice work, Dirk. This is another rarely seen kit built.

  9. Very nice. The decals look like they would keep one up at night on how to put them down ! I like this plane a lot. France and Germany came up with Numerous cool designs In cooperation for building and selling planes. ( Transall, Alpha Jet, eurofighter etc. )
    Comes to show that the peace dividend from WW2 resonated after it was all over. the Marshall plan gave stability to the old continent making this possible.

  10. Great build, Dirk.
    Both the aircraft and the diorama are well done.

  11. I really like the color scheme! Alfa Romeo was part of the Italian consortium? I knew they built aero engines in WWI and WWII but as far as I knew that was the extent of their involvement in aviation. What were they responsible for on this plane?

    • Hello Josh,
      Yes, indeed a very colorful example of this German Atlantic. Something different than only sea grey and satin white.
      Your question;
      Alfa Romeo was, according to my (library) information, mentioned in the (compensation)consortium contract. I will try to find out, what exactly was their involvement in the construction of the Atlantic.
      Thanks for your interest.
      Regards, Dirk / The Netherlands.

    • Hi Josh, I don't know if Alfa Romeo actually supplied any part for this, but you can be pretty sure it would have been beautiful but unreliable.

  12. Hello Dirk,
    This looks great ! All of the little airfield accessories you added help to bring this one to life. Well done my friend. Stay safe.

  13. Excellent build and diorama - love the unusual subjects! Well done!

    • Hello Greg,
      Thanks for your positive observations. As mentioned, I am glad this one is over. It took to long. Another unusual model is in the pipeline. The Royal Netherlands Navy Martin PBM 5A Mariner in a former (1956) Netherlands New Guinea setting. Working on the palm trees right this moment.
      Stay Safe, regards, Dirk

      1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  14. Weer prachtig gedaan Dirk. Hopelijk tot binnenkort ?

  15. Hi Dirk,
    Beautiful work as always. I can 't wait to see it in real life on a scalemodel exposition after that this whole Covid thing is over.
    Keep up the good work

  16. Hello Yves,
    Thanks for your kind words.
    Indeed, looking forward to see you again at one of the venues later this year.

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