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Morane-Saulnier

From Academic Kids

Aéroplanes Morane-Saulnier is a French aircraft manufacturer originally formed by Raymond Saulnier in October 1910. He produced a monoplane design, using a wing-warping mechanism for control, in which Jules Védrines won the Paris-Madrid race on May 26 1911. In October 1911 he was joined by the brothers Robert and Leon Morane, becoming Morane-Saulnier.

Their first commercially successful design was the Morane-Saulnier L, used as a fighter during the early days of World War I. They worked with Roland Garros to develop a system to allow the machine guns to be mounted on the front of the aircraft, shooting through the propeller. However their early models did not work well, often resulting in the propeller being shot away. In 1915 Garros fitted additional metal wedges to his propeller to deflect the bullets that didn't synchronize properly, and soon started racking up an impressive victory list. Morane-Saulnier delivered a number of more advanced versions of their basic monoplane design, but by 1915 a new generation of biplanes was completely outperforming them. One design would leave its mark after the war however, the LMS Parasol was an adaptation of their latest L model monoplane with the wing moved over the fuselage for better visibility downward.

After the war they produced a number of designs for training and general aviation, but with the start of the race towards World War II once again turned to military aircraft. During the late 1920s and early 1930s they produced a number of parasol fighters including the M.S.230 and M.S.315, but all were of limited performance and were relegated to training duties. They had much more success with their dramatically modernized M.S.406, which was the Armée de l'Air's most numerous fighter at the start of the war. Unfortunately the 406 was advanced only for its introduction in 1935, and suffered terribly against the more modern Messerschmitt Bf 109s it faced in 1940.

After the war Morane-Saulnier produced a number of trainer and civilian aircraft models, with some of the later . It was purchased by Potez on January 7 1962 and became SEEMS, the Societe d'Exploitation des Etablissements Morane-Saulnier. In 1966 their civilian models were spun off to form SOCOTA, the Societe de Construction d'Avions de Tourisme et d'Affaires, which was eventually purchased by Aerospatiale.

Morane-Saulnier designs


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