After years of occupation and technical stagnation, France faced a difficult situation at the end of WW2 in aviation matters; specially in the civilian sector. It was only with the superlative Caravelle that the French industry produced something vendible. Meanwhile it had to do with hastily converted and inadequate wartime designs and, worst, even prewar developments. The Languedoc was one of the latter. A Bloch MB.160’s offspring, this design was absolutely obsolete and was ordered just for national prestige. They were employed mainly by Air France and the French military, the later in some bold test flights. With its very dated tailwheel landing gear and powered, at first, by asthmatic and questionable Gnome-Rhône 14N’s they proved to be uneconomical, noisy and dangerous. Anyway, the Languedocs “barged” anyway until they’ were deservedly replaced by more profitable designs.
Some ex-Air France were later operated by the Spanish Aviaco company. The typical Spanish “gracejo” (wit) worked overtime with them: EC-AMH became “M-e H-undo” (I’m sinkin’); EC-ANP “N-o P-uedo” (I can’t); EC-ANS “N-o S-ubo” (I don’t climb); EC-ANR “N-o R-ulo” (I don’t work)….
The Languedocs were nevertheless majestic looking artifacts. In this case a SE.161 of the SAMAR at BA 142 base (Boufarik) during 1958/59.
© Photo Jean Berniau.