Morane-Saulnier M.S.450


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Morane-Saulnier M.S.450

On 27 February 1937, a new C1 requirement was issued by the Service Technique Aeronautique and one of the fighters designed to conform with its requirements was the M.S.450. Featuring a dural monocoque fuselage and Piyznax-skinned metal wings, the M.S.450 was powered by an Hispano-Suiza 12Y51 engine affording 1050hp for take-off and carried an armament of one 20mm engine-mounted cannon and two wing-mounted 7.5mm machine guns. The first of three prototypes of the M.S.450 was flown on 14 April 1939, but, a month earlier, an initial production order had been placed for the competitive Dewoitine D.520. Although the M.S.450 test programme was continued - the second prototype being completed in November 1939 - its failure to display any marked advantage over the D.520 prevented the placing of a production order for the Armee de l'Air. Development of the basic design was continued, however, culminating in the M.S.540 which was built in Switzerland by the Dornier-Werke AG (Doflug) as the D-3802.

Morane-Saulnier M.S.450

  Take-off weight2637 kg5814 lb
  Wingspan10.62 m35 ft 10 in
  Length8.82 m29 ft 11 in
  Height2.75 m9 ft 0 in
  Wing area17.10 m2184.06 sq ft
  Max. speed560 km/h348 mph
  Range750 km466 miles

Morane-Saulnier M.S.450A three-view drawing (1280 x 914)

Robert Willis, e-mail, 23.08.2020 02:48

Both the MS 450 & SNCAO 200 were a complete waste of time & effort. These two machines were markedly inferior in all respects to both the D-520 & Arsenal VG-33. Development of the MS-450 from the outset lagged far behind the D-520. The only way to have put the MS-450 into production would be at the direct expense of the D-520 as both required the same late model HS-12Y engines which were in very short supply. Having those few fighter Groupes fortunate enough to be equipped with the D-520 be forced to make do with the MS-450 would have been a gift to the Luftwaffe. Had Air Minister Guy La Chambre made the rational decision to cancel development of both the MS 450 & SNCAO 200 at the end of 1938, all the effort squandered on them could have instead been used to accelerate VG-33 development, likely enabling the exquisite Arsenal machine to go into mass production at least three months earlier than it actually did in place of the last couple hundred MS-406s to come off the lines.
The idea that the French could have exported the MS 450 to Finland (or anywhere else) that was not even ready to go into series production at the start of the Winter War is patently ridiculous. The Finns were very lucky to get the MS 406, which in fact performed quite well against it's Soviet opponents.


David Rosenboom, e-mail, 04.05.2011 11:44

It was a pity that MS didn't develope the MS 450 further,for it would have helped L'Armee de l'Air to hold it's own against the Me 109e of the Luftwaffe.And it was a pity that Morane Saulnier didn't supply the Finnish airforce with the MS 450 fighters instead of the obsolete MS 406 to fight against the invading Russians during the Russo-Finnish War 1939-40,when the Russians were using the I15 and I16 Poliarkov fighters.


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