Besson MB.411

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Besson MB-411.jpg
Role observation floatplane
National origin France
Manufacturer Besson
Designer Marcel Besson
Primary user French Navy
Number built 1 prototype, 2 production
Developed from Besson MB.35

The Besson MB.411 was a French two-seat spotter and observation floatplane, designed by Besson.[1]


In 1932, Besson created the MB.410 by replacing the twin floats of the MB.35 with a single main float and two outrigger floats just inboard of the wingtips. The engine was cowled and fuselage streamlining was improved. The prototype was destroyed in a fatal accident during testing.[1]

The French Navy required a spotter aircraft for its new submarine Surcouf, and ordered a production version, designated MB.411.[1]

Operational history[edit]

The first MB.411 served from September 1935, until the sinking of the Surcouf off the West Indies in February 1942.[1] This is not true. In 1940, Surcouf was based in Cherbourg, but in May, when the Germans invaded, she was being refitted in Brest. With only one engine functioning and with a jammed rudder, she limped across the English Channel and sought refuge in Plymouth. Surcouf was being refit and the plane was not on board when the sub left Brest. It was still not aboard when they USN did work on the sub in New Hampshire after crossing the Atlantic before going to Bermuda then being sunk.[citation needed]

The second aircraft served the Aeronavale Escadrille 7-S-4 ar St Mandrier.[1]


  • MB.41 – original prototype powered by a single 101 kW (135 hp) Salmson 9Nc.[1]
  • MB-411 – production version intended for operation from submarines but eventually only operated from large warships.



Specifications (MB.411)[edit]

Data from [1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 8.25 m (27 ft in)
  • Wingspan: 12 m (39 ft 4 in)
  • Height: 2.85 m (9 ft 4 in)
  • Wing area: 22 m2 (237 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 760 kg (1,676 lb)
  • Gross weight: 1,140 kg (2,513 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Salmson 9Nd radial piston, 130 kW (175 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 190 km/h (118 mph)
  • Range: 400 km (249 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 5,000 m (16,405 ft)

See also[edit]

Related lists


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Sharpe, Michael (2000). Biplanes, Triplanes, and Seaplanes. London: Friedman/Fairfax Books. p. 80. ISBN 1-58663-300-7.