Race planes of the 1930s' - The Farman F.370

By Wikkie Bodenstein


The Farman F.370 was a single-seat, low wing monoplane that had its first flight on 22 April 1933. It was a French racer designed and built by the Farman Aviation Works purely for air racing. Only one was built and she only ever flew in the 1933 Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe air race.

The Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe was an international aeronautical speed competition inaugurated on 25 August 1909 by the French oil magnate Henry Deutsch de la Meurthe. The race was reinstated three times through the years at the initiative of the Aéro-Club de France and later by Deutsch de la Meurthe's widow Suzanne.

The trial was run in two 1,000 km stages separated by a 90 minute refueling stop and was limited to aircraft with an engine capacity of less than eight litres. The starting point of the race was at Étampes. Suzanne Deutsch de la Meurthe offered one million Francs in prize money while the Ministère de l'Air (Air Ministry) offered another three million.

Of rather unconventional construction, the streamlined fuselage of the F.370 had a shallow vertical stabilizer that was faired into the headrest of the open cockpit while in front, just ahead of the wing's leading edges, a fixed main mono wheel landing gear covered the faired section into the engine and oil radiators of the engine. Outriggers with skids were fitted to the wings.

The Farman was powered by a 300 kW (400 hp) 8-cylinder Vee-piston engine and had a maximum speed of 330 km/h (210 mph, 180 kts).

She was entered into the 1933 Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe air race in which she averaged over 300 km/h (187 mph). However, on the fifth circuit, the engine overheated and she withdrew from the race.

Classic Aircraft

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