Construction
I found a fantastic black and white picture in one of my books of a Dewoitine D.520 in Regia Aeronautica colours. This spurred mew to try to find a kit of the said plane from my LHS.  I was after the Tamiya version but I couldnt find the kit in the shop but they did have a kit from a manufacturer that I had not heard of before, LTD (Limited) Models.  I was worried that this might be a cottage industry kit, full of flash and sink marks etc. To my pleasant surprise the kit was very good. The plastic was a little on the soft side but the panel lines were very fine and nice.

Contruction started in the cockpit. This area of the kit was very lacking so i used a PE set from Eduard for Tamiyas D.520. I also scratchbuilt a few doodads and modified the seat a touch. The kit didnt come with the amazing gunsight that the Dewoitine had so i scratchbuilt a new one.
Specifications:
Aircraft:
Dewoitine 0.520
Manufacturer:
SNCAM
Type: Fighter
Year:
1940
Engine: Hispano-Suiza 12Y. 12-cylinder V. liquid-cooled. 910 hp
Wingspan:
33 ft 5 in (10.18 m)
Length:
28 ft 9 in (8.76 m)
Height:
8 ft 5 in (2.56 m)
Weight:
6,144 Ib (2.780 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum speed:
329 mph (529 km/h) at 19.685 ft (6.000 m)
Ceiling:
6.144 Ib (2.780 kg) (Loaded)
Range:
620 miles (998 km)
Armament:
1 20 mm cannon; 4 machine guns
Crew:
1
Additional Images:
LTD Models 1/48 Dewoitine D.520
French Excellence
by Guy Shepherd
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September, 2011
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The Dewoitine D.520 was slightly slower than the Messerschmitt Bf 109E but clearly superior in manoeuvrability. A comparison was made on April 21, 1940 with an intact Bf 109E-3 that had been brought down in French territory. This comparison highlighted the fine qualities of the best French fighter of the Second World War. Had France not capitulated in June 1940, the Dewoitine D.520's career might have been comparable to that of the Spitfire and Me.109. Of the 246 D.520s built by the time of the invasion, only 79 were in front-line service on May 10, 1940, too few to have a significant effect. The D.520 was conceived in 1936; it was a private undertaking of the famous French aeroplane builder Emile Dewoitine, but the project was not officially accepted by French military authorities until April 3, 1938. The French government had already ordered Morane-Saulnier 405s, and the development of still another fighter airrcraft did not seem sensible. The first Dewoitine D.520 prototype took to the air on October 2, 1938, but did not make a very favourable impression. Because of the arrangement of the radiators the engine overheated, and the aeroplane failed to reach its expected speed of about 325 mph (523 km/h). The aeroplane was altered, the radiators being moved from the wings to the belly of the aircraft, and the exhausts were redesigned. The main difficulties had been overcome, and a second prototype was built, with its rudder, cockpit, and under-carriage subsequently modified. During official test flights, this aeroplane reached speeds up to 340 mph (547 km/h) at 17,000 ft (5,200 m) altitude. The aeroplane reached a height of over 26,000 ft (8,000 m) in 12 minutes and 53 seconds. When preliminary testing ended, in April 1939, an initial order for 200 aircraft was placed, with delivery set between September and December, and a second order was placed in June for 510 aeroplanes. By April 1940 total orders amounted to 2,320 aircraft, to be delivered at a rate of 350 each month.

Production was very slow because of difficulties in tuning the engine and fitting the armament, and by January 1940 only 13 aeroplanes had come off the assembly line. It was April, when the 139th aircraft was delivered, that the Dewoitine D.520 could be connsidered fully operational, and by June 25, when the armistice was signed, a total of 437 aeroplanes had been built. Production was resumed by the Germans in the summer of 1941 and continued until December 1942. The Dewoitine D.520 was used by the German Luftwaffe and by the Regia Aeronautica (for bomber interception duty) as well as the Bulgarian, and Romanian air forces, and by Free French units when the Allies invaded Europe in June 1944.

After the war a few dozen D.520s were equipped with dual controls and used as training aircraft. The last D.520 fighters remained in service until September 1953, in a non-combat unit, the Escadrille de Presentation de I' Armee de I' Air.

With the Regia Aeronautica, the D.520 was the only French type to see combat service.  The D.520 equipped nine different fighter squadrons and engaged US bomber formations with 13o, 22o, 24o, 59o and the 161o Gruppi. 
The fusealge went togethwer without problems and with the wings I hardly used a smear of filler. The plane was painted with my paint of choice Tamiya acrylics and laquer thinner. The paints custom mixed. I futured the whole plane before decaling, I used my spares box for this. After another round of future I gave the whole plane a wash of dark umber to pick out the excellent surface detail. On with the fiddly bits and she was done.