No. 12187. Morane-Saulnier M.S.225 C1 (6 c/n 6) French Air Force
Photographed at Rochefort Airfield, France, ca. 1939, by André Morin

Morane-Saulnier M.S.225 C1

11/30/2013. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "Shortly after the initiation of M.S.223 flight testing, the entire Jockey fighter concept was adjudged a failure and, with the inhibitions imposed by the chasseur léger programme removed, Morane-Saulnier developed a larger and heavier fighter, the M.S.224, which entered flight test in 1931.

Based on experience with the preceding prototypes, the M.S.224 retained the mixed structure (dural spars and wooden ribs) of the earlier aircraft for the wing, mating this with a metal-and-fabric covered dural fuselage, the ovoid cross section of which was widened to the near-circular. Wing area was increased by 10.76 sq.ft (1,00 sq.m) to 182.99 sq.ft (17.00 sq.m), and loaded weight was raised to 3,086 lb (1,400 kg). Powered by a Gnome-Rhone 9Asb, the M.S.224 attained 188 mph (303 kmh) during trials.

A modified version, the M.S.225, was adopted by the Aviation Militaire (to become the Armée de l'Air in 1934) as an interim fighter pending availability of more advanced aircraft meanwhile called for by the 1931 C1 program. The M.S.225 differed from the M.S.224 primarily in having a fully-cowled Gnome-Rhone 9Kdrs engine of 500 hp.

Armed with two 0.303 in (7.7 mm) machineguns, 74 M.S.225s were delivered during 1933-1934. Of these, 55 were supplied to the Aviation Militaire (one being fitted with a 690 hp Hispano-Suiza 12Xcrs engine with a 0.787 in (20 mm) cannon mounted between the cylinder banks and flown as a test-bed under the designation M.S.227), 16 to the Marine Nationale and three were exported to China. The last M.S.225 fighters were phased out of first-line service during 1938.

Created November 30, 2013