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Morane-Saulnier L / MS.3
Thulin B


The Morane Saulnier and Morane Borel concerns built racing aeroplanes before the first world war, and the earliest of their "parasol" monoplanes, literally meaning sunshade, was the type L of 1913. This was one of the first fighter aeroplanes, and was used in large numbers by the French Army as well as the British Expeditionary Force in France.

The most famous parasol monoplane of its period, the Type L two-seater, which appeared in 1913, was to see service as a fighter as a result of fortuity rather than original intent. Derived from the Type G-19, the first aircraft of Leon Morane and Raymond Saulnier to feature a parasol wing configuration, the Type L emulated previous Morane-Saulnier types in its use of wing warping for lateral control, 50 examples being ordered by Turkey immediately prior to WWI. With the commencement of hostilities, the Turkish aircraft were immediately sequestered for use by France’s Aviation Militaire, and, in October 1914, chosen by Commandant Bares, the Chef du Service Aéronautique aux Armées, for fighting duties. Powered by either the seven-cylinder Gnome or nine-cylinder Le Rhóne 9C rotary, both rated at 80 hp, the Type L was described as a Morane de chasse, and, at times, was armed with an 8-mm Hotchkiss or 7,7-mm Lewis machine gun fired from the rear cockpit. Sometimes flown as a single-seater in the fighting role, the Type L was to have the distinction of carrying into combat the first fixed forward-firing machine gun to be used operationally by a tractor aircraft. Just over 50 Type L aircraft were delivered to the Royal Flying Corps, with which they performed unspectacular service throughout 1915 in the reconnaissance role, and others were supplied to the Russian Military Air Fleet.

Thulin B was a licenced copy of the Morane Saulnier MS 3L. Two of these aircraft, fitted with floats, were presented to the Swedish Navy. They got the Navy registrations M I (delivered in 1915) and M II (1916). Both were fitted with a 90 hp Gnome engine, manufactured by AETA under the name ”Thulin A”.  

Both aircraft made their service at the south coast of Sweden. They were both struck by accidents and written off in September 1917.

Thulin B

Standard two-seat Type L
Max speed, 71 mph (115 km/h) at 6,560 ft (2 000 m)
Time to 3,280 ft (1 000 m), 5.75 min
Endurance, 2.5 hrs
Empty weight, 849 lb (385 kg)
Loaded weight, 1,444 lb (655 kg)
Span, 36 ft 9 in (11,20 m)
Length, 22 ft 6¾ in (6,88 m)
Height, 12 ft 10¾  in (3,93 m)
Wing area, 196.98 sq ft (18,30 sq.m)

Morane Saulnier LMS Parasol

Length : 20.669 ft / 6.3 m
Height : 9.678 ft / 2.95 m
Wingspan : 33.465 ft / 10.2 m
Wing area : 195.905 sq.ft. / 18.2 sq.m
Max take off weight : 1234.8 lb / 560.0 kg
Weight empty : 723.2 lb / 328.0 kg
Max. payload : 511.6 lb / 232.0 kg
Max. speed : 66 kt / 123 km/h
Initial climb rate : 246.06 ft/min / 1.25 m/s
Service ceiling : 13123 ft / 4000 m
Wing load : 6.36 lb/sq.ft / 31.0 kg/sq.m
Range : 216 nm / 400 km
Endurance : 4 h
Engine : Le Rhône Jb-9, 108 hp
Crew : 2


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