|Morane-Saulnier M.S.227 with Hispano-Suiza engine|
The Morane-Saulnier M.S.225 was a French fighter aircraft of the 1930s. It was produced in limited quantities to be used as a transitional aircraft between the last of the biplanes and the first monoplane fighters.
Design and development
The M.S.225 was a parasol monoplane, with a wide fixed landing gear, and powered by a Gnome-Rhône 9Krsd radial engine. Having a circular fuselage the M.S.225 was much more robust than its immediate predecessor, the M.S.224.
Created as a stop-gap before the introduction of more advanced aircraft still under development, the Morane-Saulnier M.S.225 was first shown in the form of a model at the Paris Air Show of 1932. After successful flight tests of the prototype, series production started at once.
Classified in the category C.1 (single-seat fighter), 75 aircraft were produced. A total of 53 aircraft were delivered to the Air Force in November 1933. The Aéronavale received the first of the 16 aircraft it had ordered in February 1934. Three were also sold to China.
The M.S.225s of the Armée de l'Air served in the 7e Escadre de Chasse (7th Fighter Wing) at Dijon, and in 2 escadrilles of the 42e Escadre (42nd Wing), based at Rheims. They were withdrawn from front-line service between 1936 and 1937. The aircraft also flew with the Aéronavale l'Escadrille 3C1, established in Marignane, this formation later transferring to the Air Force at the beginning of 1936, where it became Le Groupe de Chasse II/8.
The Air Force Aerobatic Squadron based at Étampes used five modified M.S.225's, with a larger vertical stabilizer, while the last unit of the Air Force to operate this aircraft was the flying school based at Salon-de-Provence.
At the outbreak of World War II, only 20 M.S.225s were still in flying condition, the majority of them being scrapped in mid-1940.
- Production variant with a Gnome-Rhone 9Krs engine, 75 built.
- Variant fitted with an arrestor hook in 1933 for aircraft carrier operations, powered by a Gnome & Rhône 9Kdr.
- Variant of the 226 with folding wings first flown in 1934.
- Variant used as test bench for the 515 kW (690 hp) Hispano-Suiza 12Xcrs engine, with a four-bladed propeller.
- First flying in 1934, this version had a modified aerofoil and empennage, and was powered by a 515 kW (690 hp) Gnome-Rhône 9Krse; did not enter production.
- Conversion of the M.S.225 equipped with a 388 kW (520 hp) Clerget 14Fcs diesel engine.
- Three aircraft only.
Data from The Complete Book of Fighters
- Crew: one, pilot
- Length: 7.25 m (23 ft 9½ in)
- Wingspan: 10.56 m (34 ft 7⅔ in)
- Height: 3.26 m (10 ft 8½ in)
- Wing area: 17.20 m² (185.1 ft²)
- Empty weight: 1,154 kg (2,544 lb)
- Loaded weight: 1,590 kg (3,505 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Gnome-Rhône 9Kdrs 9-cylinder radial engine, 373 kW (500 hp)
- Maximum speed: 334 km/h (180 knots, 207 mph) at 3,850 m (12,630 ft)
- Range: 700 km (378 nm, 435 mi)
- Service ceiling: 10,000 m (32,810 ft)
- Rate of climb: 6.12 meters per second (1,204.08 feet per minute)
- Climb to 3,000 m (9,840 ft): 5.7 min
- Related lists
- List of Interwar military aircraft
- List of aircraft of the Armée de l'Air, World War II
- List of military aircraft of France
- List of fighter aircraft
- Taylor and Alexander 1969, pp. 110–111.
- Orbis 1985, p. 2555.
- Green and Swanborough 1994, pp. 416–417.
- Angelucci 1983, p. 117.
- Angelucci, Enzo. The Rand McNally Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft, 1914-1980. San Diego, California: The Military Press, 1983. ISBN 0-517-41021-4.
- Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. The Complete Book of Fighters. New York:Smithmark, 1994. ISBN 0-8317-3939-8.
- The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). London: Orbis Publishing, 1985.
- Taylor, John W. R. and Jean Alexander. Combat Aircraft of the World. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1969. ISBN 0-71810-564-8.
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