Camera On 14, Moraine Saulnier MS.406

The MMP Camera On series features rare and stunning images, as in this new photo study of the MS.406. The book features over 150 previously unseen images, many from private sources in Germany. – Highly Recommended.

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NAME: Camera On 14, Moraine Saulnier MS.406
FILE: R3050
AUTHOR: Bartlomiej Belcarz
PUBLISHER: Mushroom Model Publications
BINDING: soft back
PRICE: £15.00                                                               
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, Second World War, French Air force, 
Battle of France, monoplane, fighter aircraft, single seat, loss rate

ISBN: 978-8365958-32-7

IMAGE: B3050.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/yx3mdzef

LINKS: 
DESCRIPTION: The MMP Camera On series features rare and stunning images, as in 
this new photo study of the MS.406. The book features over 150 previously unseen 
images, many from private sources in Germany. – Highly Recommended.

The French Air Force faced a similar challenge to that affecting the Royal Air Force. 
During the 1920s and early 1930s, politicians had been spending the 'peace dividend' 
confident that there would be no more wars. Then reality set in and there was a 
scramble to rebuild military organizations for war and equip them with modern 
equipment. Budgetary considerations suddenly took back seat in favour of correcting 
the serious negligence.

In France, Moraine Saulnier followed a similar path to that of Sidney Camm and his 
Hawker Hurricane. It was clear to all leading designers that the technical solution to 
achieve best performance was to throw away the traditional designs and start again 
with a monocoque fuselage and thin monoplane wing that drew from the lessons of 
the Schneider Trophy racing float planes. However the disadvantage was that this 
would involve using new materials and create many challenges in building reliable 
production lines that could turn out adequate numbers of aircraft. The Hurricane and 
the MS.406 were very good compromises that employed familiar and proven 
techniques of a skeleton structure that was clad in fabric or thin metal sheets. In 
Britain the approach was proven when the Hurricane started arriving ahead of the 
much more ambitious Spitfire. The Hurricane then both shot down many more 
German aircraft during the Battle of Britain and survived battle damage that could be
rapidly repaired on the squadrons.

The MS.406 suffered because the French had failed to appreciate the importance of a 
modern command and control system that was receiving data from radar. As a result, 
their aircraft often failed to take off before the Germans began strafing the airfields, or 
were sent out on air patrol, leaving them short of fuel when the Germans arrived. The 
most numerous French fighter, the MS.406, suffered a very high casualty rate with 
some 400 machines being lost in the air and on the ground during the Battle of France. 
When the Germans moved on to the Battle of Britain, they were amazed and daunted 
to find so many RAF fighters in position to shoot them down. With the same 
command and control system, the French might have achieved a similar result with 
their fighters.

The MS.406 was generally regarded as a good aircraft to take off, fly and land. 
Reasonably vice free, its speed took some pilots by surprise and the retractable 
undercarriage could also be forgotten, problems familiar to young British pilots as 
they tried to master the Hurricane and Spitfire. The descriptive text in this book 
covers the introduction of the MS.406, its characteristics and deployment. The 
photographs cover the aircraft very well and the number of images of downed 
aircraft and wrecks reflects the high loss rate.

This is another fine photo-essay from a respected special interests publisher.