50 years ago: early biplane retires
While the last A380 is about to be delivered, it is the 50th anniversary of the end of another double-deck aircraft. On 31 March 1971, the Bréguet 763 was withdrawn from civil service.
Initial designs of a biplane were presented as a Breguet 760 at the air show in Paris in 1936. The first Br.761 performed its maiden flight in 1949.
In 1951, the French government ordered twelve Br.763 with larger wingspans and stronger engines for Air France, which deployed these aircraft from March 1953 primarily on the heavily used routes to North Africa.
During 1964 Air France transferred six Br.763s to the French Air Force, which also acquired the three pre-production Br.761S aircraft and four new Br.765 Sahara freighter aircraft with removable cargo doors. (ah)