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The M.S.406 was a French Armée de L`Air fighter aircraft built by Morane Saulnier starting in 1938. Numerically it was France's most important fighter during the opening stages of World War II.
Although sturdy and highly manoeuverable, it was under-powered and weakly armed when compared to its contemporaries. Most critically, it was out-performed by the Messerschmitt Bf-109E during the Battel of France. The M.S.406 held its own in the early stages of the war (the so-called Phoney War), but when the war restarted in earnest in 1940, losses to all causes amounted to approximately 400 aircraft. Out of this total some 150 were lost to enemy fighters and ground fire, another 100 were destroyed on the ground in enemy air raids and the remainder was deliberately destroyed by French military personnel to prevent the fighters from falling into enemy hands intact. In return M.S.406 squadrons achieved 191 confirmed victories and another 83 probable victories. The type was more successful in the hands of Finnish and Swiss air forces who developed indigenous models.
The Dewoitine D.520 was a French fighter aircraft that entered service in early 1940, shortly after the opening of World War II. Unlike the Morane-Saulnier M.S.406, which was at that time the Armeé de L`Air's most numerous fighter, the Dewoitine D.520 came close to being a match for the latest German types, such as the Messerschmitt Bf-109. It was slower than the Bf 109E but superior in manoeuvrability. Because of a delayed production cycle, only a small number were available for combat with the Luftwaffe.
The D.520 was designed in response to a 1936 requirement from the Armée de l'Air for a fast, modern fighter with a good climbing speed and an armament centred around a 20 mm cannon. At the time the most powerful V12 liquid cooled engine available in France was the Hispano Suiza 12Y, which was less powerful, but lighter, than contemporary engines such as the Rolls-Royce Merlin and Daimler-Benz DB-601. Other fighters were designed to meet the specifications but none of them entered service, or entered service in small numbers and too late to play a significant role during the Battle of France.
Vier uitvoeringen mogelijk;
- Morane Saolnier M.S.406 - French Air Force GC III/1, 2 Escadrille , France May, 1940.
- Morane Saolnier M.S.406 - French Air Force GC I/2, 2 Escadrille, France May, 1940.
- Dewoitine D.520 - French Air Force, GC I/3, 2 Escadrille, France April, 1940.
- Dewoitine D.520 - Frence Air Force, Special Defence Escadrille, France may, 1940.
Aantal onderdelen; 36 X2.
Morane Saolnier M.S. 406
- Lang; 115 mm.
- spanwijdte; 145 mm.
- Lang; 121 mm.
- Spanwijdte; 142 mm.