When, in 1932, the French air ministry circulated its specification for a five-seat night bomber, there were eight proposals from five companies. Both Bloch and Farman were successful on this occasion, although the resulting production aircraft were completed in differing bomber categories.
The MB.200 was finalised as a four-seat bomber, with a cantilever high-wing monoplane of all-metal construction, and non-retractable tail-wheel type landing gear. The prototype Bloch M.B.200.01 had two 567kW Gnome-Rhone 14Krsd radial engines, and was first flown in July 1933. Subsequent flight testing resulted in an initial order for 25 aircraft, placed on 1 January 1934, despite the maximum speed of the prototype 18 per cent below estimate.
When the production M.B.200 began to enter service towards the end of the year, it was found to be both reliable and viceless, and though production aircraft had more powerful Gnome-Rhone engines, still slow. 208 were eventually supplied to the Armee de I'Air, built by Bloch (4), Breguet (19), Hanriot (45), Loire (19), Potez (111) and SNCASO(10).
At the beginning of World War II seven front-line bomber groupes were still equipped with these obsolete aircraft, but at the time of the German offensive all had been relegated to a training role. The type had also been built under licence in Czechoslovakia by Aero and Avia, and these were seized by the Germans, serving as crew trainers and for general duties, as were those which had been captured in France. Many were passed on to German satellites.
Aero built 44 Bloch 200 heavy bombers as the MB.200, and Avia licence built 70 machines powered by two 700 Walter K-14 engines. Because all three Aeroplane Works within a range of German bombers were, a new plant was built at the village of Kunovice in South Moravia. There were 70 production MB-200s built there.
Engine: 2 x Gnome-Rhone 14Kirs/Kjrs radial piston engines, 649kW
Take-off weight: 7280 kg / 16050 lb
Loaded weight: 4463 kg / 9839 lb
Wingspan: 22.45 m / 73 ft 8 in
Length: 16 m / 52 ft 6 in
Height: 3.9 m / 12 ft 10 in
Wing area: 67 sq.m / 721.18 sq ft
Max. speed: 285 km/h / 177 mph
Ceiling: 8000 m / 26250 ft
Range: 1000 km / 621 miles
Engines: two 800 Walter K-14
Propellers: three-blade metal
Wingspan: 22.45 m
Length: 16 m
Empty weight: 4474 kg
Maximum speed: 205 km.p.h
Climb to 4000 m: 15 min
Service ceiling: 6000 m
Armament: five machine guns in three turrets
Bombload : 1500 kg
Crew: 4 -5