Air France at Croydon - Wibault 283
Airliner Aviation Art Print of an Air France Wibault 283 at Croydon Airport by Artist Roger H. Middlebrook GAvA
Entering service in 1933, the Wibault 283 was a twelve seat commercial airliner for Air France and the last development of the 280 series. In this guise, it was powered by three Gnome-Rhone 7kd engines, each of 350hp with additional fuel capacity and a re-designed tail when compared to the 282.
Wibault had been backed financially by the Penoit shipyard to help produce a modern cantilever monoplane airliner to replace the obsolete aircraft Air France were then equipped with. While economical and easy to fly, the aircraft suffered from increased vibration in the cabin due to the third engine on the centreline and the capacity of twelve passengers was soon found to be inadequate. Air France replaced the aircraft on the London-Paris route with the newer 16-seat Bloch 220 from 1938, with the ten Wibaults finding work on lesser routes up to the beginning of WWII.
In Roger H. Middlebrook's painting, the aircraft is seen at its London rendezvous, Croydon, the city's main airport until the mid 1950s.