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Bloch MB.81




Developed in response to a government-sponsored competition in support of the new doctrine of "aerial first aid", it was employed exclusively in the overseas colonies, specifically Morocco and Syria. The M.B.80 was followed by the M.B.81.01 coded F.301, which made its initial flight in October 1932, powered by a Salmson 9Nc engine of 101kW.

Unlike the MB.80 prototype, the MB.81 had a closed cockpit and a somewhat larger cargo space. This was the company's first design which made it out of prototyping.




The aircraft was built without any assistance from the government, but an initial order of 20 was placed by the Ground French Forces (the French Armée de l'Air was founded in 1933), and it was one of the aircraft that relaunched Marcel Bloch in the aeronautical construction industry.

The production MB.81 was fitted with a French Salmson 9Nd of 128.68 kW (175 hp). It took part in military operations in Morocco and in Syria at the beginning of the 1930s.

A production order followed, the first of 20 M.B.81 production aircraft being delivered and entered service in 1935, and was used extensively throughout North Africa and the Middle East. A few were used in 1939-1940, before the French surrender, and in July, 1941 in the battle for Syria between the Vichy French and the British/Free French.




It rendered the greatest services, in particular for the military operations in Morocco and Syria at the beginning of the thirties. A few aircraft were used for the France campaign in 1939-1940 in Africa and the Middle East. One of them was used by the Free French Forces transport group commanded by Colonel Lionel de Marmier in Syria.

The fourth example flew with the RAF under serial AX677.




Bloch M.B.81
Engine: 1 x Salmson 9Nd radial piston engine, 130kW (172.56 hp)
Wingspan: 12.59 m (41 ft 4 in)
Wing Area: 17.8 sq.m / 191.60 sq ft
Length: 8.4 m (27 ft 7 in)
Height: 2.9 m (9 ft 6 in)
Empty weight: 580 kg (1,279 lb)
Max Take-Off Weight: 880 kg / 1940 lb
Maximum speed: 188 km/h (117 mph; 102 kn)
Cruise Speed: 161 km/h / 100 mph
Range: 654 km (406 mi; 353 nmi)
Ceiling: 6400 m / 21000 ft
Crew: 1
Service ceiling: 6,400 m (20,997 ft)
Capacity: 1 seated or stretchered







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