Profile Publications No. 147 The Morane Saulnier 406

Following an order for 200 D.520's in June 1939, the General Headquarters of the Air agreed that, in addition to already existing orders, export of 10 Moranes per month, up to a total of 200 machines, could be permitted. The Polish War Minister Kas- przycky ordered 160 M.S.406's, 50 to be delivered before the end of September 1939, the rest at a rate of 20 per month. None reached Poland before the collapse. In November 1939 following Anglo- French-Turkish agreement, Turkey ordered 30 Moranes, followed by an order for a further 15 machines. All were delivered before the Armistice. The country to use the Moranes for the longest period in combat was Finland. During the“ Winter-W ar” 30 were sent with ground personnel. They arrived in January 1940, but only saw three weeks combat before the Armistice. They are said to have scored 15-20 victories during that short period. The “Con­tinuation War” from June 1941 provided the M.S.406 with further inaction fact, further Moranes had arrived in Finland (30 in August 1942). but the LaGG and Yak fighters introduced in 1942-3 proved much superior to the old warrior. The Moranes received an astonishing new lease of life when their Hispano- Suiza engines were replaced with Russian M-105 engines of 1,100 h.p. These had been captured by the Germans during their advance. All existing Moranes were converted and were back inaction in 1944. The conversion was 28 m.p.h. faster than the standard type and were designated the M.S.V. or“ M orko M orane.” Yugoslavia was intending to buy 25 Moranes at the time of France's defeat, but no order was then placed. CAM O U F L AGE AND MAR KINGS Due to the apparent risk of war in 1938-9 the Moranes were camouflaged from the outset, unlike their predecessors the D.500. D.510, LN 46 and SPAD 510. It was possible to distinguish between S.N.C.A.O.- and Morane-Saulnier-built machines by their serial numbers and the inscriptions on the fin. Morane- built machines sported the firm’s insignia in copper on the nose and fin. At first (serials under 100) the type was camou­flaged with large irregular areas of green and brown on a khaki base. Later the official paints of dark blue-grey, green and brown were used in smaller areas. All undersurfaces were light blue-grey with Fine study o f a production D-3800 o f the SwissAir Force. white matricide militaire markings under the wings (these were letterand num­ber markings for easy long­ distance identification). The underwing roundels were large, 1-2 m. (46-24 in.) in diameter, but the roundels on the upper wing surfaces were only 0-30 m. (10 in.) in diameter. There were no roundels on the fuselage sides usually the Escadrille marking was carried there. The aircraft number in the Escadrille was painted on the fin. In January 1940, following identification errors, the fuselage roundel was intro­duced and the upper wing roundels were enlarged. Immediately after the Armistice, the fuselage roundel was outlined in white and a transverse white band was painted along the fuselage. Later the nose and tail of Vichy aircraft were painted with yellow and red stripes an oblique tricolour with 24 cm. (9-45 in.) bands was painted on the wings.< Gaston Botquin, 1967. SPECIF I CAT ION Moran e-Sau ln ie r M .S.406 Dimensions: Span 34 ft. 10 in. (1061 m.). Length 26 ft. 10 in. (8-17 m.). Height 10 ft. 8 in. (3-25 m.). Total Wing Are a 172-2 sq. ft. (16 sq. m.). Undercarriage I rack 11 ft. 6 in. (350 m.). Weights: Empty 4,177 lb. (1,895 kg.). Normal loaded 5,610 lb. (2,540 kg.). Wing loading 32-6 Ib./sq. ft. (154 kg./sq. m.). Power loading 6-52 lb./h.p. (2-95 kg./h.p.). Performance: Maximum speed 281 m.p.h. (452 km./h.) at 6,560ft. (2,000 m.). 304 m.p.h. (490 km./h.) at 14,700 ft. (4,500 m.). 273 m.p.h. (440 km./h.) at 26,200 ft. (8,000 m.). Climb to 6,560 ft. (2,000 m.) 2 min. 32 sec. to 19,700 ft. (6,000 m.) 9 min. 3 sec. to 29,500 ft. (9,000 m.) 21 min. 37 sec. Range at maximum speed at 13,100 ft. (4,000 m.) 447 ml. (720 km .)at 3 3 %power (200 m.p.h.— 321 km./h.) 683 ml. (1,100 km.). Service Ceiling 32,800 ft. (10,000 m.). Normal duration 105 min. Fuel Tankage: Total internal petrol 89-3 gall. (406 I.). Oil tankage 10-8 gall. (49 I.). Engine: HOne isp ano-Suiza H S 12 Y 31 12-cylin d er 60 V ee Liquid-cooled engine rated at 860 h.p. at 13,100 ft. (6,000 m .)760 h.p. at sea-level and 860 h.p. for take-off. The engine drove a 9-82 ft. diameter C ha u vie re Serie 3S1 tw o-p o sitio n airscrew .Armament: One 20 Hmm. isp a no -Suiza type H S 59 o r H S 404 cannon with 60 rounds of ammunition firing through the airscrew hub and two MAC 7-5 mm. m achine-guns with 300 rounds each in the wings. COM BAT The table shown here gives some impression of the ferocity of combat during the Battle of France. It records the activity of G .C.II/6 reinforced by the 6th Escadrille of G.C.III/3, between 10th May and 17th May 1940. Total .C.G II/6 6th Esc. of .C.G III/3 Victories 22(13 confirmed) 157 Pilots missing 651 Pilots sh o t-d own 15105 Pilots wounded 743 Aircraft lost in combat 1495 Aircraft destroyed on ground 1919 +??Missions flown 26019862 Missions during which combat occurred 1087731 More than 33 aircraft were lost in a week out of a nominal strength of about 45. FRENCH PILOTS ’VIC TOR I E SOu tstan ding among the Armee de I'A ir pilots were Capitaine W u illa m e of G.C.I/2 with 8 confirmed victories and 1 "prob a b le”, Sergent LeN ig e n of G.C.III/3, 8 confirmed victories (killed on 25th July 1940), and Adjutant G agnaire of .CG .111/1 with 7 confirmed victories and 2 probables (killed on 10th June 1940). A total of 8 other pilots had 5 o r m o recon­firmed victories. PRINTED IN ENGLAND i Profile Publications Ltd., P.O. Box 26, 1a North Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, England by George Falkner &Sons Ltd., for McCorquodale City Printing Division, London. U.S. 2nd Class Mailing Rates applied for. Profile Publications Ltd. is a member of the Norprint Division of the Norcros Group with world distribution network, retaining all rights in all languages. North American Import Agency rights delegated to J.W .C. Aeronautica, 7506 Clybourn Avenue, Sun Valley, California 91352 North American Distributive Agency rights invested the National Aerospace Education Council, 616 Shoreham Building, 806 15th Street N.W., Washington D.C. 20005. Reproduction of, or any part of, this publication is expressly forbidden under the terms of International Copyright Law except as subject to written permission by the Managing Director, Profile Publications Ltd.
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