Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Bloch MB.130 and its derivatives were a series of French monoplane reconnaissance-bomber developed during the 1930s. They saw some limited action at the beginning of World War II, but were obsolete by that time and suffered badly against the Luftwaffe. After the fall of France, a few were pressed into Luftwaffe service.
The MB.130 was developed in response to the August1933French Aviation Ministry request for a reconnaissance and tactical bomber aircraft. It first flew on June 29 1934, and soon entered production despite very ordinary performance, forty machines being ordered in October 1935. An improved version, the MB.131 was first flown on August 16 1936, but still needed more work to overcome its deficiencies. The radically revised second prototype which flew on May 5 the following year eventually formed the basis for series production, with aircraft being manufactured by SNCASO, the nationalised company that had absorbed Bloch and Bleriot . Total production (including prototypes) was 143.
Entering service in June 1938, the MB.131 went on to equip seven reconnaissance Groupes, six in metropolitan France and one in North Africa. Upon the outbreak of the war, the metropolitan Groupes suffered heavy losses in attempts at daylight reconnaissance of Germany's western borders. They were subsequently restricted to flying night missions, though they still suffered heavy losses even then. By May 1940, all metropolitan units had been converted to Potez 63.11 aircraft, with only the African groupe retaining them for first-line duty.
After the Battle of France, the planes left in Vichy possession were relegated to target towing duty. 21 planes were reported captured by the Luftwaffe in inoperable condition, but photographic evidence suggests at least a few flew for the Nazis.
All-metal twin-engine low-wing monoplane with retractable landing gear. Three flexible machine guns, with one apiece in the nose position, dorsal turret, and ventral gondola.
Original MB.130.01 prototype
- MB.131.01 - first prototype
- MB.131.02 - second prototype with revised wings, tail, and fuselage
- MB.131R4 - Initial versions with one central machine gun (13 built)
- MB.131Ins - Dual control instructor version (5 built)
- MB.131RB4: Internal bomb bay, revised equipment (121 built, including two prototypes refitted to this standard)
(note: Breffort and Joiuineau say 14 R4s and just 100 RB4s were built)
Prototype with redesigned tail (1 built)
Prototype with two 820 kW (1,100 hp) Hispano-Suiza L4 AA engines (1 built)
- Crew: four
- Length: 17.85 m (58 ft 7 in)
- Wingspan: 20.27 m (66 ft 7 in)
- Height: 4.09 m (13 ft 5 in)
- Wing Area: 54 m² (581 ft²)
- Empty: 4,690 kg (10,340 lb)
- Loaded: kg ( lb)
- Maximum takeoff: 8,600 kg (18,960 lb)
- Powerplant: 2x Gnome-Rhone 14N -10/11, 708 kW (950 hp) each
- Maximum speed: 349 km/h (217 mph)
- Range: 1,300 km (808 miles)
- Service ceiling: 7,250 m (23,785 ft)
- Rate of climb: 306 m/min (1,004 ft/min)
- Wing loading: kg/m² ( lb/ft²)
- Power/Mass: kW/kg ( hp/lb)
- 3x 7.5 mm MAC 1934 machine guns
- 800 kg (1,764 lb) of bombs
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