Morane-Saulnier MS 340 / MS 341 / MS 342 / MS 343 / MS 345
The Morane-Saulnier MS.341 was a parasol wing monoplane of mixed wood and metal construction, fabric-covered, designed for club and training rôles. The wing, with 18° of sweep but with no dihedral, was mounted centrally to the upper fuselage by N-shaped cabane struts and braced with V-form lift struts from mid-span to the lower fuselage longeron. The fuselage was flat sided with a curved decking and tandem open cockpits, the forward one under the wing leading edge where there was a cut-out for better visibility. The MS.341 had a fin with a straight leading edge and a tailplane mounted on top of the fuselage, braced to the fin. The rudder extended to the bottom of the fuselage, moving between the two separate elevators. Both control surfaces were horn balanced.
F-AZCX, Morane-Saulnier MS 341-3, C/N: 4234-3
The MS.340 prototype made its first flight in April 1933, powered by a 90 kW (120 hp) de Havilland Gipsy III but later flew as a MS.341 with a 90 kW (120 hp) Renault 4Pdi engine. The MS.341 had a conventional undercarriage with a small tailwheel. Single mainwheels were mounted on V-form legs hinged centrally under the fuselage. Vertical shock absorber in broad fairings were supported by an array of four struts, one to the forward lift strut's junction with the wing, one to the upper fuselage longeron and two to the lower one.
Principal production version was the M.S.341 and some 40 aircraft of all versions were built up to 1937. Three were flown as liaison aircraft by Republican government (anti-Franco) forces in the Spanish Civil War.
Most of the variants in the MS.340 family were powered by air-cooled inverted four cylinder in-line piston engines from either Renault or de Havilland. The exception was the MS.343 variant which had a nine cylinder Salmson 9N radial. Twelve MS.343/3s were sold to L'Armée de l'Air.
Morane-Saulier M.S.341-3 (F-ANVS c/n 4234.3)
The final variant was the MS.345 which appeared in 1935. It had dihedral on the wings and a taller fin and rudder. The shock absorber mounting was simplified, with the four struts per side replaced with a Y-shaped strut between wing and undercarriage leg. The leg struts were now faired together and the wheels spatted. It was powered by a 100 kW (140 hp) Renault 4Pei engine. The MS.345 first flew in June 1935 but by this time Morane-Saulnier were concentrating on the MS.405/6 fighter and in the absence of orders for the MS.345 development of the lightplane ceased.
The great majority of the MS.340 series aircraft owned by private individuals and clubs were MS.341s, with the French engine. They account for about nineteen of the twenty seven examples of all variants on the reconstructed French Civil register. Five British engined MS.342s appear but four of these were later re-engined to make them MS.341s.
Prototype with 89.5 kW (120 hp) de Havilland Gipsy III inverted in-line engine.
Prototype re-engined with an 89.5 kW (120 hp) Renault 4Pdi inverted in-line.
89.5 kW (120 hp) Renault 4Pdi inverted in-line engine.
104 kW (140 hp) Renault 4Pei inverted in-line engine.
97 kW (130 hp) de Havilland Gipsy Major inverted in-line engine.
MS.342 with enclosed cockpits. One only.
130.5 kW (175 hp) Salmson 9Nd radial engine.
100 kW (135 hp) Salmson 9Nc radial engine.
Modifications to wings, undercarriage and empennage. 100 kW (140 hp) Renault 4Pei inverted in-line engine.
Engine: 1 × Renault 4Pei, 100 kW (140 hp) at 2,400 rpm
Wingspan: 10.2 m (33 ft 6 in)
Length: 6.94 m (22 ft 9 in)
Height: 2.29 m (7 ft 6 in)
Wing area: 15.75 m2 (169.5 sq ft)
Empty weight: 557 kg (1,228 lb)
Gross weight: 920 kg (2,028 lb)
Maximum speed: 200 km/h (124 mph; 108 kn)