Dassault MD.303 / MD.311 / MD.312 / MD.315 / MD.316
The Dassault M.D.315 Flamant (Flamingo) utility transport and aircrew trainer prototype made its maiden flight on 10 February 1947. Engines were two 580-hp SNECMA 12S-201 inverted-V-12 air-cooled, previously known as the Renault 12S and before that the German Argus As 410. This had the designation M.D.303, and was evaluated successfully at the Centre d'Essais en Vol at Bretigny later that year.
Production Flamants, the first of which was flown in January 1949, were intended for service with the Armee de I'Air in France's overseas territories, and deliveries to AOF (Afrique Occidentale Francaise) squadrons began in October 1950.
The Flamant was produced in three main versions, the first, the M.D.311, was a bombing, navigation and photography trainer of which 39 were built.
The six-seat M.D.312 military liaison/communications aircraft (142 built) and the 10-seat M.D.315 light utility transport (137 built), were used over a long period by the Armee de I'Air and, in the case of the M.D.312, by the Aeronavale. The production continued 1949-52.
The first production version was the MD.315 Flamant with a crew of two and up to ten passengers or a tonne of freight. The MD.312 was furnished for only six VIP passengers and the MD.311 was a crew trainer, with glazed nose for visual bombing. Most Flamants could be equipped as casevac stretcher (litter) ambulances.
Over 200 were still in service in the mid-1960s, a few were still in use in 1978, though retired by the French armed forces by the 1990s.
Convertible from passenger to cargo or aero-medical transport, several were passed on to other air forces such as those of Cambodia, Madagascar, Tunisia and Vietnam, as they were withdrawn from French service.
One M.D.315 was coverted as the M.D.316, with 611kW SNECMA 14X Super Mars radial engines, first flying on 17 July 1952. A single-finned second prototype, the M.D.316T, had 597kW Wright R-1300-CB7A1 Cyclone radials. These were intended for crew training and commercial transport operation, but neither entered production.
Dassault MD.311 Flamant
Avions Marcel Dassault MD 315 Flamant
Engines: 2 x SNECMA-Renault 12S 02-201 inline, 433kW / 572 hp
Max take-off weight: 5800 kg / 12787 lb
Empty weight: 4250 kg / 9370 lb
Wingspan: 20.7 m / 67 ft 11 in
Length: 12.6 m / 41 ft 4 in
Height: 4.5 m / 14 ft 9 in
Wing area: 47.2 sq.m / 508.06 sq ft
Max. speed: 380 km/h / 236 mph
Cruise speed: 300 km/h / 186 mph
Service ceiling: 8000 m / 26250 ft
Range: 656 nm / 1215 km / 755 miles
Crew : 2+10