Morane Saulnier MS 405

Morane Saulnier MS 405

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View of Morane Saulnier MS 405

The Morane Saulnier MS 405 was the pre-production and development version of the MS 406, one of the most numerous French fighter aircraft of the Second World War.

Morane Saulnier MS 405 - History

Morane-Saulnier MS.405 / MS.406 / Mörkö

Designed in response to a French Air Force C1 requirement initially issued in September 1934, the M.S.405 was of tubular metal construction, but other than the fabric-covered rear fuselage, it had Plymax - okoume plywood bonded to aluminium - stressed skinning. Powered by an 641-kW / 860hp Hispano-Suiza 12Ygrs engine, the M.S.405.01 first prototype flew on 8 August 1935, and the second, the M.S.405.02, with a 900hp HS 12Ycrs, on 20 January 1937.

A pre-series of 15 aircraft was ordered on 1 March 1937, the first flying on 3 February 1938 with an HS 12Ygrs engine and an armament of one 20mm and two 7.5mm guns. Various changes had been proposed meanwhile for the series model to which the designation M.S.406 was assigned, the new features being progressively introduced on successive M.S.405s (eg, the second featured an enlarged fuel tank, the fourth was fitted with the HS 12Y31 engine and the 12th had a simplified and lightened wing structure).

The HS 12Y31-engined 13th and 15th aircraft were delivered to Switzerland (as M.S.406Hs) in September 1938 and April 1939 as pattern aircraft for a licence-built version (D-3800). The 12th was subsequently re-engined with a 910hp HS 12Y45 and fitted with a fixed rather than semi-retractable radiator as the M.S.411 to provide a basis for the HS 12Y51-engined M.S.412 built in Switzerland as the D-3801. The final M.S.405 was flown on 21 June 1938 as a pattern aircraft for the series M.S.406.

The production version was the M.S.406 with a number of detail improvements, a lightened wing structure, and a more powerful engine: 1,077 of this variant were built. As a first-generation ‘modern’ fighter, the M.S.406 was obsolescent at the beginning of World War II, but was numerically the most important fighter deployed by the French Air Force. Deliveries commenced late in 1938, a production tempo of six daily being attained by April 1939, and 11 daily four months later. Possessing an armament of one engine-mounted 20mm cannon and two 7.5mm machine guns, the M.S.406 had an 860hp Hispano-Suiza 12Y31 engine with which it was markedly underpowered.

Production terminated in March 1940, at which time the Armee de l'Air had taken on charge 1,064 M.S.406s, of which 30 had been supplied to Finland during December 1939- January 1940, and 30 had gone to Turkey during February-March 1940. Subsequent purchases from the German authorities between late 1940 and late 1942 brought total procurement of the Morane-Saulnier fighter by Finland to 87 aircraft (including a number of M.S.410s). With the occupation of Vichy France in November 1942, German forces acquired a further 46 M.S.406s which (apart from two delivered to Finland) were supplied to the Croat Air Force. The Italians obtained 52 M.S.406s of which the 25 airworthy examples were delivered to the Regia Aeronautica.

The Finns later re-engined some of their aircraft with the 820-kW (1,100-hp) Klimov M-105P under the revised name Mörkö Moraani. The increasing obsolescence of the MS 406 led the Finnish Air Force to order, on 22 October 1942, the installation of a Klimov M-105P in an MS 406 airframe. The M-105P engine derived from the HS 12Y, afforded 1,100 hp for take-off, and a substantial quantity of this power plant, together with suitable VISh-61P propellers, had been captured by the Wehrmacht and was available to the Finns. A 20-mm MG 151 cannon was mounted between the cylinder banks, a Bf 109G oil cooler was adopted, an aerodynamically-improved engine cowling was introduced, and, with some local structural strengthening, the prototype conversion was flown on 4 February 1943 as the Mörkö (Ghost) or Mörkö-Moraani. Successful trials resulted in the decision to bring all surviving MS 406 and MS 410 fighters to Mörkö standard, but only two more were com-pleted before termination of the Finnish-Soviet conflict. Nevertheless, the conversion programme continued, and by 21 November 1945, the remaining Morane-Saulnier fighters had been modified, bringing the total number of Mörkös delivered into the Finnish inventory to 41 aircraft. These retained the two or (in the case of the MS 410 conversions) four wing-mounted 7,5-mm machine guns, but shortages of the MG 151 cannon necessitated this engine-mounted weapon being re-placed by a 12,7-mm Berezina UB machine gun in some aircraft. The Mörkö remained in service until 11 September 1948, when the survivors were placed in storage and scrapped four years later.

Engine: 1 x Hispano-Suiza HS 12Ycrs, 900hp
Max take-off weight: 2440 kg / 5379 lb
Wingspan: 10.62 m / 34 ft 10 in
Length: 8.17 m / 26 ft 10 in
Height: 2.71 m / 8 ft 11 in
Wing area: 17.10 sq.m / 184.06 sq ft
Max. speed: 443 km/h / 275 mph
Range: 1000 km / 621 miles


Engine: l x Hispano-Suiza 12Y-31, 641 kW (860 hp)
Span: 10.6m (34 ft 9.25 in)
Length: 8.15m (26ft 9in)
Height: 2.71 m / 8 ft 11 in
Wing area: 17.10 sq.m / 184.06 sq ft
Empty weight: 1893 kg / 4173 lb
Max T/O weight: 2470 kg. (5,445 lb)
Max speed: 302 mph / 486 km/h at 16,405 ft
Max range: 1000 km / 621 miles
Operational range: 497 miles
Ceiling: 9400 m / 30850 ft
Crew: 1
Armament: 1 x 20-mm Hispano-Suiza cannon and 2 x 7.5-mm (0.295-in) MAC mg

Engine: Klimov M-105P, 1,100 hp
Propeller: VISh-61P
Max take-off weight: 2 849 kg / 6,280 lb
Empty weight: 2106 kg / 4643 lb
Wingspan: 10.62 m / 34 ft 10 in
Length: 8.38 m / 27 ft 6 in
Height: 2.71 m / 8 ft 11 in
Wing area: 17.10 sq.m / 184.06 sq ft
Max. speed: 525 km/h / 326 mph at 13,125 ft (4 000 m)
Initial climb, 4,921 ft/mm (25 m/sec)

Morane-Saulnier MS.406

The Armée de l’Air issued a requirement in 1934 for a new modern fighter, a monoplane to replace the biplanes then in service. The Moraine-Saulnier company responded with a design that was designated the MS.405, which after the installation of an improved engine was to enter service as the MS.406.

The MS.406 was equipped with a 900 horsepower Hispano-Suiza Ycrs 12Yrcs engine, which could drive the fighter along at 275mph. the fuselage was constructed of tubular duralumin components, covered with a bonded mixture of plywood and thin sheets of duralumin. Armament consisted of a 20mm cannon which fired through the propeller hub, and a pair of 7.5mm machine guns in the wings.

Deliveries of the 1,000 MS.406s ordered by the Armée de l’Air were completed by 1940. Several squadrons were equipped with the fighter during the Battle of France where they performed adequately but were often outclassed by the German Messerschmitt Bf109s. After the fall of France a number of MS.406s continued in service with the Vichy Air Force in North Africa, the Middle East and Indochina.

Morane-Saulnier MS.230

World War 1 (1914-1918) allowed the French to become globally-recognized leaders in military aviation, resulting in many classic types emerging from French aero-concerns such as Breguet, Caudron, Nieuport, SPAD, and others. This market recognition continued into the post-war period (known as the Interwar period) and resulted in other successful entries like the Morane-Saulnier MS.230 of the late-1920s.

The MS.230 was developed to fulfill a basic trainer role and accomplished this through simple construction and equally-simple controlling to go along with inherent stability. Over 1,000 examples were produced by Morane-Saulnier and the primary operator became the French military flying school at Reims. Global operators proved numerous and ranged from Belgium and Brazil to the United States (under the USAAC) and Venezuela. For the French, the MS.230 served as its primary trainer throughout most of the 1930s which covered the lead-up to World War 2 (1939-1945).

At least six aircraft were built to the MS.231 standard of 1930 which instead carried the Lorraine 7Mb engine of 240 horsepower. The MS.232 was a one-off experimental model of 1930 and powered by the Clerget 9Ca diesel-fueled engine of 200 horsepower output. The MS.233 followed and fitted either the Gnome-Rhone 5Ba or 5Bc engine types of 230 horsepower - sixteen went to Portugal and a further six examples stayed in France. The MS.234, numbering two examples, carried the Hispano-Suiza 9Qa of 20 horsepower. The MS.234/2 was an offshoot of the line built from the MS.130 Couple Michelin racing aircraft. This form was given the Hispano 9Qb under a racing-style engine cowling and flown at various levels up until 1938.

The MS.235 was a single example of 1930 powered by the Gnome-Rhone 7Kb engine of 300 horsepower. The MS.235H added floats for on-water landings and take-offs and saw its first flight in 1931. The MS.236, first-flying in 1932, were nineteen aircraft built for the Belgian Air Force and powered by an Armstrong Siddeley "Lynx" ICV series engine. The MS.237 of 1934 rounded out the MS.230 family line as a group of five airframes powered by the Salmson 9Aba engine of 280. These were purchased and flown in private hands.

In Czech Air Force service, the MS.230 was designated as the "C.23". The pre-World War 2 German Luftwaffe operated this French aircraft as well but only in limited numbers.

Franska varianter [ redigera | redigera wikitext ]

MS.405 [ redigera | redigera wikitext ]

År 1934 gav Service Technique Aéronautique, Armée de l'Airs aeronautiska tekniska tjänst, en förfrågan om ett nytt, modernt, ensitsigt jaktplan (som de kallade C1-konstruktionen). Den skulle vara ett enkelvingat flygplan med infällbart landställ.

Morane-Saulniers svar kom i form av MS.405, ett lågvingat monoplan av olika konstruktionsmaterial där duk täckte flygplanets bakre träkonstruktioner, medan resten av flygplanet täcktes av Plymax, en blandning av metall och trä på ett skelett av duraluminium. Plymax bestod av ett tunt lager av duraluminium som var fäst till ett tjockare lager av plywood. Detta flygplan var Morane-Saulniers första lågvingade monoplan, med sluten sittbrunn och infällbart landställ. Innan MS.405 var deras därförinnan modernaste konstruktioner parasol monoplan med fasta landställ.

Den nya Hispano-Suiza HS 12Y-grs-motorn på 860 hk (640 kW) drev en tvåläges Chauvièrepropeller som användes i den första prototypen som flög den 8 augusti 1935. Utvecklingen gick långsamt och den andra prototypen som hade en 900-hästkrafters (670 kW) HS 12Y-motor flög inte förrän den 20 januari 1937, nästan ett och ett halvt år senare. Det nya flygplanet nådde en hastighet om 443 km/h med den nya motorn och detta var tillräckligt snabbt för att säkra en order för ytterligare 16 förproduktionsexemplar, vart och ett något förbättrat från det föregående.

MS.406 [ redigera | redigera wikitext ]

Resultatet av dessa förändringar kom att bli MS.406. De största förändringarna var en ny vinge som minskade vikten samt en infällbar kylare under flygkroppen. Den nya HS 12Y-31-motorn (860 hk/640 kW) gjorde att den nya konstruktionen var 8 km/h snabbare än MS.405 med sina 489 km/h. Beväpningen bestod av en automatkanon (antingen en 20 mm Hispano-Suiza HS-9 eller en HS-404) med 60 skott, som sköt mellan motorns cylinderrader, samt två 7,5 mm MAC 1934 kulsprutor i vingarna med 300 skott var.

Vid denna tidpunkt var ett krig mot Tyskland en stor möjlighet och Armée de l'Air beställde 1𧄀 flygplan i mars 1938. Morane-Saulnier kunde inte på långa vägar när tillverka så många flygplan i sin egen fabrik och en andra tillverkningslinje startades vid SNCAOs statliga fabriker i Saint-Nazaire. Produktionen inleddes sent år 1938 och det första serieproducerade exemplaret flög den 29 januari 1939. Leveranserna drog ut på tiden eftersom det var svårt att få tag på motorer för flygplanen.

I april 1939 levererade produktionslinjerna sex flygplan per dag och när kriget bröt ut den 3 september 1939 hade produktionstakten stigit till elva flygplan per dag och man hade 535 flygplan i tjänst. Produktionen av MS.406 avslutades i mars 1940, efter att alla 1𧄀 flygplan hade levererats till Armée de l'Air och ytterligare 77 till utländska kunder, däribland 45 till Turkiet. De order som lagts av Litauen och Polen kunde inte fullföljas på grund av krigets utbrott.

MS.410 [ redigera | redigera wikitext ]

Medan MS.406 kom i tjänst år 1939, inledde man en uppgradering av konstruktionen. Resultatet kom att bli MS.410, som hade en starkare vinge, en enklare kylare som inte kunde fällas in, fyra bältmatade MAC-kulsprutor i stället för de två tidigare trummagasinkulsprutorna samt avgasutblås för mera kraft. Flygplanet kunde nu komma upp i en topphastighet om 509 km/h, d.v.s. en förbättring om 16 km/h i jämförelse med MS.406.

Produktionen hade just inletts när Frankrike föll och enbart fem exemplar hade färdigställts. Produktionen tilläts fortsätta under tysk kontroll och man började bygga om gamla MS.406 till MS.410, men många av dessa fick enbart den nya vingen.

MS.411, MS.412 [ redigera | redigera wikitext ]

Ett enda exemplar av versionen MS.411 byggdes genom att man byggde om det tolfte förproduktionsflygplanet och gav den MS.406:ans vinge och HS 12Y-45 motorn med sina 1 000 hk (750 kW). En senare modifikation påbörjades och gavs namnet MS.412 (HS 12Y-51 1 050 hp (780 kW)), men den kom inte att färdigställas innan kriget tog slut.

MS.450 [ redigera | redigera wikitext ]

År 1939 började Hispano leverera prototyper av den nya Hispano-Suiza 12Z-motorn på 1𧈬 hk (970 kW). En av dem modifierades för att passa en modifierad MS.410 för att bli MS.450, som hade dramatiskt förbättrade flygegenskaper, speciellt på högre höjder. Motorn hann dock inte tas i produktion innan Frankrike föll och Dewoitine D.520 som även modifierats för att bära motorn (D.523/D.551) ansågs vara en bättre konstruktion för motorn.

  • Key Dates:
  • 1911: Morane-Saulnier is founded.
  • 1913: Morane H parasol aircraft makes historic flights.
  • 1914: Raymond Saulnier patents machine gun synchronization device.
  • 1935: MS 405 fighter aircraft introduces sliding canopy.
  • 1945: The MS 470 trainer is France's first postwar aircraft.
  • 1953: MS 755 Fleuret jet is introduced.
  • 1954: Popular MS 760 Paris executive jet debuts.
  • 1959: Immensely successful MS 880 Rallye light plane first flies.
  • 1962: Bankrupt Morane-Saulnier goes into receivership.
  • 1966: Morane-Saulnier is reborn as Socata, a division of Groupe Sud-Aviation.
  • 1970: Socata becomes light plane division of newly created Groupe Aérospatiale.
  • 1975: Socata begins reciprocal relationship with Aérospatiale's Helicopter Division.
  • 1979: The TB or "Caribbean" line of planes debuts with the TB-9 Tampico and TB-10 Tobago.
  • 1986: Socata opens U.S. subsidiary.
  • 1991: First TBM 700, developed with Mooney Aircraft, is delivered.
  • 1995: Socata revives the twin-engine American General Cougar as its TB 360 Tangara.
  • 1997: Company begins developing new kerosene-fueled planes with Renault Sport.
  • 2000: Socata becomes part of newly formed European aeronautics powerhouse EADS.

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The aircraftofMorane-Saulnier

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History and construction

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