Morane-Saulnier MS.230

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Morane-Saulnier MS.230 La Ferte.jpg
Role Elementary Trainer
Manufacturer Morane-Saulnier
First flight February 1929[1]
Primary user Armée de l'Air Flight School, Reims, France
Number built 1000+[1]

The Morane-Saulnier MS.230 aircraft was the main elementary trainer for the French Armée de l'Air throughout the 1930s. Almost all French pilots flying for the Armée de l'Air at the outbreak of World War II had had their earliest flight training in this machine. It was the equivalent of the Stearman trainer in the United States air services and the de Havilland Tiger Moth in the British Royal Air Force.

Development and design[edit]

The MS.230 was designed to meet French Air Ministry requirements.[1] The MS.230 was a parasol wing monoplane of metal tubular framing with fabric covering throughout, except the forward area of the fuselage, which was metal covered. The instructor and pupil occupied two tandem cockpits. It had a wide fixed landing gear that made it very stable in takeoff and landing. As a monoplane the MS.230 was unlike other trainers of the time, which were mostly biplanes.

It first flew in February 1929 and proved to be an excellent and stable machine which was very easy to fly. It saw service with military flight schools throughout France and was exported to the air forces of numerous other countries. It also became a popular aircraft for sporting aviation. An example won the Michelin Cup in 1929 [2]

Numbers of MS.230s survived for many years after the war and became civilian trainers and civilian flying club aircraft. One was used in 1967 to act as camera-ship for air-to-air filming of Darling Lili at Baldonnel Aerodrome, Ireland. Examples are preserved on display in museums in Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Spain and the United States of America.[3]

Popular culture[edit]

A MS.230 was used at the end of the movie The Blue Max as the "new monoplane" in which Lt. Stachel is killed during a test flight.

Lynn Garrison "Stachel" Morane MS-230 Weston, Ireland 1970



Hispano-Suiza 8a V8, for Swiss Fliegertruppen; two built, one converted to Hispano-Suiza 9Qa radial in 1932
over 1,100 built; 20 bought by Romania and 25 by Greece in 1931, 9 each bought by Belgium and Brazil; main Armee de l'Air trainer for years; operated by several well-known private owners including Lynn Garrison and Louis Dolfus; some used for trials with Handley Page slats, or skis; one fitted with Lorraine 9Nb Algol Junior
six built, with 179 kW (240 hp) Lorraine 7Mb, 1930
experimental version with 149 kW (200 hp) Clerget 9Ca diesel, 1930
powered by 172 kW (230 hp) Gnome-Rhône 5Ba or Gnome-Rhône 5Bc, six built in France and 16 in Portugal under licence for the Portuguese military
186 kW (250 hp) Hispano-Suiza 9Qa engine, two built, one for U.S. Ambassador in Paris
converted from MS.130 Coupe Michelin racer with 172 kW) (230 hp) Hispano 9Qb and NACA cowling, entered in 1931 Coupe Michelin air race, 86 kW (250 hp) Hispano-Suiza 9Qa engine, 1933 fitted with Hispano-Suiza 9Qa engine as MS.234 #2, flown in aerobatic competition by Michael Detroyat until 1938
224 kW (300 hp) Gnome-Rhône 7Kb engine, one built 1930
twin-float version, first flown 1931
fitted with 160 kW (215 hp) Armstrong Siddeley Lynx IVC, 19 built under licence for Belgian Air Force by SABCA, first flown July 1932
209 kW (280 hp) Salmson 9Aba engine, five built for private users, introduced 1934
MS.230 at Praha-Kbely museum


 United States


Morane Saulnier MS.230 3-view drawing from L'Aerophile Salon 1932

Data from Holmes, 2005. p. 97.

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2 (one instructor, one student)
  • Length: 6.70 m (22 feet 10 inches)
  • Wingspan: 10.70 m (35 feet 1 inch)
  • Height: 2.80 m (9 feet 2 inches)
  • Empty weight: 829 kg (1,828 pounds)
  • Loaded weight: 1,150 kg (2,535 pounds)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Salmson 9AB, 9-cylinder, air-cooled radial engine, 172 kW (230 hp)


See also[edit]

Related lists



  1. ^ a b c Holmes, 2005. p. 97.
  2. ^ [1]Flight 20 June 1930, p.651
  3. ^ Ogden, 2006, p. 28
  4. ^ Donald, 1997. p. 664.
  5. ^ Ketley, Barry, and Rolfe, Mark. Luftwaffe Fledglings 1935-1945: Luftwaffe Training Units and their Aircraft (Aldershot, GB: Hikoki Publications, 1996), p.11.


  • Donald, David. Encyclopedia of World Aircraft (Etobicoke, Ontario: Prospero Books, 1997), p. 664, "Morane-Saulnier MS.230 series".
  • Holmes, Tony (2005). Jane's Vintage Aircraft Recognition Guide. London: Harper Collins. ISBN 0-00-719292-4.
  • Ogden, Bob (2006). Aviation Museums and Collections of Mainland Europe. Tonbridge, Kent: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 0-85130-375-7.

External links[edit]