Morane-Saulnier M.S. 325

The Morane-Saulnier M.S. 325 was the first non-parasol wing monoplane fighter designed by the company after the First World War, but was outdated almost before the prototype was completed, and was abandoned in favour of the M.S. 405.

The M.S. 325 was one of two designs produced by Morane-Saulnier in response to a French specification for a new single seat fighter issued in 1930 and modified on 26 January 1931. This replaced a 1926 specification for a lightweight fighter (the 'Jockey' programme) which had failed to produce any suitable designs. The first Morane-Saulnier design, the M.S. 275, was a parasol wing fighter similar to the aircraft they had designed for the 'Jockey' programme, but the M.S. 325 saw a complete change of approach.

The new aircraft was a low-wing monoplane. The wing was externally braced with two 'Y' braces, stretching from a point just below the top of the fuselage and one about a quarter of a way along the wing. This was the thickest section of the wing, and was also the point at which the fixed undercarriage was attached. The wing had a rather unusual shape. The leading edge was almost straight, but the trailing edge curved out from the fuselage to the point where the wheels were attached before tapering away towards the wing tip.

The M.S. 325 had many features in common with the first generation monoplanes of this period, including its fixed but streamlined undercarriage, an open cockpit, the wing struts and a large head rest and anti-roll pylon behind the cockpit. It made its maiden flight early in 1933, and tests revealed a serious buffeting problem. Wing root fairings were introduced, but failed to entirely solve the problems. By 1934 Morane-Saulnier were already working on the more advanced M.S. 405, and work on the obsolescent M.S. 325 was cancelled.

Engine: Hispano-Suiza 12Xbrs V-12
Power: 690hp
Crew: 1
Wing span: 38ft 8 1/2in
Length: 27ft 0 3/4in
Height: 12ft 1 2/3in
Empty Weight: 2,985lb
Loaded Weight: 3,944lb
Max Speed: 227mph at 14,765ft
Service Ceiling: 39,370ft
Armament: Two wing mounted 7.7mm machine guns

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (22 December 2011), Morane-Saulnier M.S. 325 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_morane_saulnier_MS325.html

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