Max Holste Broussard

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Holste MH1521M 118 TOU 20.06.65 edited-3.jpg
Operational French Army MH.1521M Broussard at Toussus-le-Noble airfield in 1965
Role Six-seat utility monoplane
National origin France
Manufacturer Avions Max Holste
First flight 1952
Introduction 1954
Retired 1993 (French army)
Primary user French Army
Number built 396
Developed from Max Holste MH.152

The Max Holste MH.1521 Broussard is a 1950s French six-seat utility monoplane designed by Max Holste to meet a French Army requirement.

Design and development[edit]

The MH.1521 Broussard was designed to meet a requirement for a lightweight liaison and observation aircraft. It is a braced high-wing monoplane with twin vertical tail surfaces. It has a fixed tailwheel landing gear and is powered by a nose-mounted Pratt & Whitney R-985 radial piston engine.

Preserved MH-1521 Broussard at AirExpo in 2007

A smaller 220 horsepower (160 kW) Salmson 8 As.04 powered prototype aircraft, the MH.152, was first flown on 12 June 1951; it had room for a pilot and four passengers but was too small and underpowered to meet the Army requirement.[1] As a result, the company decided to develop a slightly larger version, the MH.1521 with the engine changed to a Pratt and Whitney Wasp Junior, which at 450 horsepower (340 kW) provided almost twice as much power.[1][2] The MH.1521 first flew on 17 November 1952.[2] It was later named the Broussard (lit. Man of the Bush, in the context of bush pilots rather than Bushmen). Its development was enthusiastically supported at a political level by WWII fighter ace and French war hero Pierre Clostermann, a close friend of Max Holste. Clostermann wrote a faction novel, "Leo 25 Airborne", based on his experiences flying Broussards with Escadrille ELO 3/45 in Algeria.

The first production aircraft made its maiden flight on 16 June 1954, and 363 were built before production ended in 1961.[3] Its similarity to the de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver in looks, capability and performance lead it to be nicknamed "the French Beaver".

Operational history[edit]

It saw service in the Algerian War as an Army cooperation aircraft, mostly as an artillery spotter and in an air supply/ambulance role where its good short-field performance and resistance to ground fire were required. Its distinctive sound, made by its noisy radial engine and large propeller, was a disadvantage as the Algerian guerrillas could hear its approach long before other aircraft. It remained in service until the 1980s, and can still be seen in Denmark, France, the UK, and the United States being operated by enthusiasts or collectors.


MH-1521M Broussard.JPG
First prototype of the Broussard series, powered by a Salmson 8 As.04 inverted V-8 engine.
Prototypes, five built plus two pre-production aircraft and 19 pre-production military variants.
Aircraft modified for agricultural use.[4]
Commercial variant, 52 built.
Military variant, 318 built.
Based in MH.1521, with full span leading-edge slats and double-slotted trailing edge flaps to improve stall performance. Prototype flown on 11 February 1958.[4]
The prototype MH.152 powered by a Turbomeca Astazou turboprop engine. First flew in this form June 1957.[4]


Military operators[edit]

 Central African Republic
 Ivory Coast
  • 1
 Upper Volta

Civil operators[edit]


Surviving aircraft[edit]

MH-1521M Broussard F-GIBN flying at Oldtimer Fliegertreffen Hahnweide in 2013.
  • G-YYYY (s/n 208) flies from Eggesford, UK in 2010.[13]
  • F-GIBN (s/n 261) stationed in Walldürn, Germany and in flying condition.[14]
  • HB-RSL (s/n 6) was stationed in Biel-Kappelen, Switzerland and in flying condition but was destroyed in a hangar fire on July 3, 2016.[15]
  • N246MH 1960 (s/n 246) is located in Friendswood, Texas, USA and in flying condition. [16]
  • N4022 (s/n 22) US FAA registered to a German company but operating in California as of Oct 2018.[17]

Specifications (MH.1521M)[edit]

Data from The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft.[18]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 5
  • Length: 8.65 m (28 ft 4½ in)
  • Wingspan: 13.75 m (45 ft 1¼ in)
  • Height: 3.65 m (12 ft 0 in)
  • Wing area: 25.20 m2 (271.26 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 1530 kg (3373 lb)
  • Gross weight: 2500 kg (5512 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 radial piston engine, 336 kW (450 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 270 km/h (168 mph)
  • Service ceiling: 5500 m (18045 ft)


See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ a b Bridgman 1952, p. 122
  2. ^ a b Bridgman 1953, p. 141
  3. ^ Taylor 1962, p. 52
  4. ^ a b c Taylor 1961, p. 57
  5. ^ a b c Gaines 1982, p. 1360
  6. ^ Gaines 1982, p. 1361
  7. ^ Gaines 1982, p. 1366
  8. ^ Gaines 1982, p. 1372
  9. ^ Gaines 1982, p. 1364
  10. ^ Air International November 1985, pp. 229, 231.
  11. ^ Lopes 1998, pp. 41–42
  12. ^ a b Gaines 1982, p. 1365
  13. ^ "1960 Max Holste MH-1521C-1 Broussard C/N 208". Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  14. ^ "OTT 2013: F-GIBN Max Holste MH1521M Broussard". Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  15. ^ "Max Holste MH-1521-C1 "Le Broussard" s/n 6". Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  16. ^ "960 AVIONS MAX HOLSTE MH 1521 BROUSSARD Serial number 246". Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  17. ^ "FAA REGISTRY N-Number Inquiry". FAA. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  18. ^ Orbis 1985, pp 2436
  • Bridgman, Leonard R. V. (1952). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1952–53. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company, Ltd.
  • Bridgman, Leonard R. V. (1953). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1953–53. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company, Ltd.
  • Gaines, Mike (6 November 1982). "World Air Forces 1982". Flight International. Vol. 122 no. 3835. pp. 1327–1388. ISSN 0015-3710. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  • Lopes, Mãrio Canongia (May–June 1998). "High-Winged Workhorses: Broussards and Dorniers in Portuguese Service". Air Enthusiast. No. 75. pp. 41–45. ISSN 0143-5450.
  • Simpson, R.W. Airlife's General Aviation. England: Airlife Publishing. p. 176. ISBN 1-85310-194-X.
  • Taylor, John W. R. (1961). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1961–62. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company Ltd.
  • Taylor, John W. R. (1962). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1962–63. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company Ltd.
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions.
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982–1985). Orbis Publishing. p. 2436.
  • "The Royal Moroccan Air Force...A Seasoned Air Arm". Air International. Vol. 29 no. 5. November 1985. pp. 226–232, 250–252. ISSN 0306-5634.

External links[edit]