Latham 47

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Latham 47
Model of a Latham 47
Type: Flying boat
Design country:

FranceFrance France


Société Latham & Cie

First flight:




Number of pieces:


The Latham 47 was a twin-engine French flying boat of the Société Latham & Cie in double-decker construction .

This type became known when one of these machines disappeared without a trace in the Arctic near Bear Island in 1928 while searching for the lost airship Italia . The famous polar explorer Roald Amundsen and all crew members also died.


Engraving of Latham 47 on a plaque

The Latham 47 was developed by Jean Latham in Caudebec-en-Caux for the French Navy, a total of 13 machines were built. Jean Latham was the cousin of aviation pioneer Hubert Latham . Hubert Latham became famous for his Antoinette VII , with whom he had to make an emergency landing on his flight over the English Channel in 1909.

Rescue mission for the airship Italia

Memorial to the missing Gilbert Brazy in Calais

As part of the international action to save the Nobile North Pole expedition at the end of May 1928, a Latham 47 was launched in the direction of Bergen in Norway on June 16, 1928 on the orders of the French Minister of the Navy, Georges Leygues . On board were the pilot René Guilbaud , the radio operator Valette, Lieutenant de Cuverville and the aircraft mechanic Gilbert Brazy.

After a short stop in Bergen, we went on to Tromsø . On June 18, Roald Amundsen and the pilot Leif Dietrichson got on there. After a few attempts to take off , the machine started towards Spitzbergen , but did not reach its destination. One of the swimmers was later found showing signs of machining. Amundsen and his companions had probably tried to save themselves with it.

In 1931 a large Latham 47 aircraft monument was erected in the French city of Caudebec-en-Caux . In 1929, a stele with a bronze bust was erected at Fort Risban in Calais in memory of the mechanic Brazy, and a street was named after him.

Technical specifications

Parameter Data
crew 4th
length 16.30 m
span 25.20 m
height 5.20 m
Empty mass 4,900 kg
Top speed 170 km / h
Engines 2; 500 PS each (approx. 370 kW)

Web links

Commons : Latham 47  - collection of images, videos and audio files