WW II Aircraft Pt 3: MS 406

Discussion in 'Education' started by Xenophon, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    The French Morane-Saulnier MS 406 fighter aircraft equipped the Armee de I'Air at the outbreak of the Second World War. The derivative of the MS 405 prototype built in 1935, the MS 406 was a low-wing monoplane of similar somewhat foreshortened appearance. In February 1938 the MS 405 began production and in January 1939 the first production MS 406 appeared, differing little from it. By June 1940 the Armee de I'Air had received 1,081 of the latter type, and 17 MS 405's, although slowness in production of the engines had prevented more from reaching the squadrons. At the beginning of the war four Escadres de Chasse with three Groups of 25 MS 406's each were operational; indeed, the majority of French fighters were of this type since the faster Dewoitine D 520 fighters had not reached squadrons in any number.

    Constructed primarily of metal, the MS 406 had a fabric covered rear fuselage and was powered by a Hispano Suiza 12Y-31 850 hp 12-cylinder inline engine which gave it a maximum speed of 305 mph (488 kph) at 16,500 ft (5029 m). The squat design had a powerful appearance which its performance belied, since it was inferior in speed to the opponents it was to meet in the skies over France in 1940. The tail-plane was braced and a tail-skid was fitted, while the main undercarriage retracted inwards. The 406's armament consisted of one Hispano Suiza HS-9 20-mm cannon firing through the propeller boss and a drum-fed 7.5-mm MAC 1934 machine-gun mounted in each wing. A move was made to modify all MS 406's by fitting quadruple 7.5-mm machine-guns, but France capitulated before this could be completed.

    Construction of the 406 was subcontracted and many export orders had been obtained by 1939. The Swiss licence-built a night-fighter variant, and the Finns received their quota before the Battle of France prevented other orders for Turkey and Poland from being delivered. Following the German occupation, captured MS 406 aircraft were given to the Croatian Air Force and to the Finns, who fitted captured Russian Klimov engines to them.

    Specifications:
    Span-. 35ft 1 in (10.6m)
    Length: 26ft 10in (8.2m)
    Gross weight : 5,445lbs
    Maximum speed: 305 mph (488 kph)
    Range: 497 miles (785km)
    Ceiling 32,300ft 19,753 m)
     
  2. Xenophon
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    MS 406 in flight

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Xenophon
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    Vichy MS 406s in Syria

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Xenophon
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    MS 406 in Finnish colors.

    The fins used a light blue swazstika in a white circle as their national emblem, long before the Nazis used it.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    Another Finnish 406 during the winter war

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    A rebuilt 406 in the correct colors for the battle of France in 1940

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    Another 406 this time in the colors of neutral Switzerland.

    The Swiss sometimes used these planes to intercept combatents that flew into their airspace, be they German or allied.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Diamond Member

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    more pictures would be nice....nice threads
     
  9. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    Its hard to find good shots of period machines, and many pictures are just to damn big and distort the pages so I'm limited in my selctions of what i can use.

    There is also the problem that sometimes the pictures are not labeled correctly, I can through long experence tell the correct types and makes, but the net is filled with errors.
     
  10. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Diamond Member

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    say it aint so x?
     

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