U.S. Air Service




George Levy 40

Levy-LePen Aircraft in the Congo After the War

Development and Operation

Designed by the firm of LePen and Blanchard, the machine was known by the U.S. Navy at the Levy-LePen. The machine was a 2-bay biplane with the top wing longer than the bottom wing; it had diagonal struts connected to the base of the upper wing with the outermost interplane strut. The upswept tail had a fixed fin attached to the horizontal stabilizer. The crew of two sat side-by-side. The engine used was a 280 hp Renault 12Fe (pusher configuration). A pivoted machine gun was in the nose. The usual armament consisted of four 35 kg 1F' bombs or two 120-150 kg `I' bombs. In addition, a single Lewis gun was carried. The machine entered service in November 1917

Twelve Georges Levy 40 HB2 were purchased by the U.S. Navy for use in an anti-submarine patrol mission. Serial numbers being GL13, GL16, GL20, GL21, GL27, GL28, GL29, GL30, GL60, GL83, GL84, and GL85. All of these aircraft were based at either NAS Le Croisic or NAS St.Trojan. The aircraft were found to have engine difficulties, were difficult to maintain, and to have defective bomb carrying gear.


Aircraft and Flight Characteristics

George-Levy 40 HB2 Two/Three-seat Flying Boat
with a 280 Renault 12Fe engine


18.5 m


12.4 m


3.85 m




1450 kg


2350 kg

Maximum Speed

150 km/hr at sea level

Climb to 2000 m

25 minutes


400 km


6.5 hrs.


One Lewis Gun and 300 kg of bombs


  1. French Aircraft of the First World War, Davilla, Jim and Art Soltan
  2. Marine Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War Nowara, Heinz J.

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