Bloch M.B.157


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Bloch M.B.157

Representing the last of the fighter aircraft to be evolved from the M.B.150, which had declined to become airborne in 1936, the Bloch M.B.157 resulted from an attempt to unite the airframe of the M.B.152 with a new and far more powerful Gnome-Rhone 14R, an air-cooled radial engine similar to those which powered the earlier Bloch fighters, but with a power output of 1186kW for take-off, and having a supercharger that could provide a rating of 1268kW at 8000m.

Such power suggested exciting possibilities for a high-altitude interceptor, but the increased size and weight of this engine brought realisation that it would not be practical to install it in the existing M.B.152 airframe. The conclusion that the full potential of the Gnome-Rhone 14R would be lost by attempting an adaptation of the airframe led to a decision to design a new fighter which would retain the same basic structural techniques.

Having postulated such a design philosophy, it was possible to formulate the details of the M.B.157 very rapidly, for the basic design already existed. The result of this was that within just over six months of design initiation, the components of the prototype were ready for assembly but, once again, it was too late for France. With German forces closing in on Paris, the M.B.157 components were loaded to be taken to a place of security but, en route, this vehicle was intercepted by the Germans and ordered to proceed to an SNCASO establishment within the occupied zone.

Finally, in 1942, the M.B.157 was assembled and test flown under German supervision, demonstrating superb performance before being flown to Orly where the powerplant was removed for wind-tunnel testing. This was the most interesting feature so far as the Germans were concerned, and after tests had been completed the engine was transported to Germany. SNCASO's air-frame, which had demonstrated in conjunction with Gnome-Rhone 14R a degree of performance that was not to be attained elsewhere until later in the war, was destroyed during an Allied air raid.

 ENGINE1 x Gnome-Rhone 14R-4 radial piston engine, 1186kW
  Take-off weight3250 kg7165 lb
  Empty weight2390 kg5269 lb
  Wingspan10.70 m35 ft 1 in
  Length9.7 m32 ft 10 in
  Height3.2 m11 ft 6 in
  Wing area19.4 m2208.82 sq ft
  Max. speed710 km/h441 mph
  Cruise speed400 km/h249 mph
  Range1095 km680 miles
 ARMAMENT2 x 20mm cannon + 4 x 7.5mm machine-guns

Olivier, e-mail, 03.08.2015 18:55

I would just say that if that plane had arrived at the beginning of the war in number , maybe it would have changed history but at that time nobody expected to tactically german Blitz Krieg !
PS sorry For my english !


Olivier, e-mail, 03.08.2015 18:44

I remember comments from WWII french "AS" Pierre-Henri Clostermann about the Campain of France defeat. He spoke about the french military general headquarters spirit where generals officers were looking like WWI in term of TACTIC and STRATEGY. Politians were too shy to understand that rearm was urgent...
Thanks the Brits (Reginald Mitchell) for the Spit and es


Scott K Rice, e-mail, 18.07.2020 Olivier

According to what I have read the big problem with the French defense industry before the war was simple. There was no shortage of great designs, no shortage of great engineers. It was industrial problems caused by the unions which were controlled by the communist party, they were constantly on strike. If not for constant labor unrest France wouldn't have been so easy to defeat!


Zak, e-mail, 24.03.2015 22:52

Wow this got political very fast... we aren't talking about Israel, USA or Middle East guys, we are talking about the Bloch MB.157


Mike, 06.01.2013 12:20

Glenn, I think many Europeans would say the same about the good old US of A so the feeling is probably mutual but what relevance all of that has here I dont know.


Ian, e-mail, 30.10.2012 17:19

Israel are only "In Europe" for a singing contest of dubious quality. It's actually in the Middle East, the area that a lot of North Americans would like to turn into a self illuminating glass car park.


Glenn, e-mail, 24.10.2012 05:07

The French were prevented from becoming "militarized by german sympathizers /colaberators. The most IMFAMOUS Vichy French advocate, was Pierre Laval, who was tried, condmned, and executed for collaborating with Nazi Germany, and for the participation of the extermination of jews with Germany. If it weren't for assholes like Laval, France could have put up a real fight against Germany. This, and the reccent Prime Minister Chirac was a collaborator and great friend of Saddam Heussein in the war to oudst Heusein in Operation Iraqi Freedom. This is reccorded in the book "The French Betrayal of America" This is yet another reason I don't trust France or anyone else in Europe CEPT ISRAEL!!


Alain, e-mail, 07.09.2020 Glenn

Glenn : you seem to forget who paid the bills [loaned money] for Adolf rise to power and his gigantic military industrial complex. Of all US major banks, the only one not implied was Goldman-Sachs, but the Brits compensated thru the Bank of England. All US major corps were implied, even doing transfers of technology, e.g. Boeing and Douglas Aircraft. Opel belonged to General Motors, IBM provided the calculators making the logistics of the final solution possible as well as helping to conceive weapons like the V1 and V2 faster, even Ford, the MGM, Coca-Cola and Disney were implied...
"The French Betrayal of America"? YOU created Hitler!
Oh, BTW, Chirac wasn't PM, he was president, and he was 15 years old in 1945, he entered upper high school in sept 1945! He later even worked as a sailor or selling "L'Humanité" (commie newspaper) in the streets! Young Chirac was very left-leaning when he started his college studies in Science-Po(litiques) 1951.
BTW, Ayatollah Khamenei thanks the USA for having busted Saddam, now Syria is full of Iranian troops and they can mass transfer weapons to Lebanon! I think that Israel can thank USA for having busted Saddam as well as Europe can thank USA for Hitler!


Civettone, e-mail, 29.08.2012 22:45

It all comes down to the engine. If the two-stage Gnome-Rhône 14R was really capable of 1268kW at 8000m, then for sure this was a remarkable high altitude fighter, and the 710 km /h estimation would not have been far off!

However, I have my doubts about the 1268 kW. It is an unusually high output, and higher than the take-off power, which is somewhat unusual. If the Germans had known about this engine, as is reported, then they would have tried to copy it and put it in a Fw 190A. It would have given them the high-altitude interceptor they always wanted.



Thomas Kerr, e-mail, 09.11.2010 20:20

Now the maximum speed here looks a bit impossible but recall record breaking ME109 prototypes.
Let us add some armament (serious weight if you look up gun weights) and a combat load of fuel.

Still you get a fighter with a power / profile almost as good as FW190 and a definite 'contendar'. Timing is all in an arms race!!


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