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France's Bloch M.B. 151 fighter,
Bloch 151 fighter

Design

The Bloch 150 series of fighters were heavily armed, but had an inadequate engine.1

Main Armament

It was intended for the Bloch 151 to have two cannons and two machine guns but often they were delivered with four machine guns.2

Prototype

The prototype of the Bloch 150 series, the MB 150 would not fly when it was trialed in July 1936.3 It we redesigned and eventually flew on May 4, 1937.3

The prototype of the Bloch 151 first flew on August 18, 1938.2,3

It flew with the Gnome-Rhône 14N-11 (920 HP).2

Production

144 of the Bloch 151 were ordered.2 The MB 151s were produced at the same time as the MB 152s, but eventually the MB 152s were the only ones being produced.3

  • MB 150: 13
  • MB 151: 1403
  • MB 152: 4823
  • MB 153: 13
  • MB 155: 333
  • Total: 6573

Variants

  • M.B. 150-01: Prototype that didn't leave the ground on it's maiden flight on July 17, 1936.1
  • M.B. 150-01M: Prototype that flew successfully on September 29, 1937.1
  • M.B. 151: Production model.1
  • MB 152: Production model.3

Usage

By the middle of January the Armée de l'Air received 138 Bloch M.B. 151s.1

By September 1939 there were 120 MB 151s and MB 152s delivered, but many lacked gun sights and even propellars.3

Eventually the MB 151 was declared obsolete and turned into trainers.3

Against Italy

A few MB 151s saw action against the Italian invasion in southern France in June 1940, but suffered heavy losses.3

Greece

Greece received nine Bloch 151s.2,3

Specifications

  Bloch M.B. 1511,3, Bloch 1512
Type Fighter1,3
Crew 11,3
Engine (Type) Gnome-Rhône 14 N 35 piston1
Gnome-Rhône 14N-352,3
Cylinders Radial1,3 143
Cooling  
Net HP 9202,3
Propeller blades 33
Dimensions  
Span 34' 7"2,3
10.54 m2,3
Length 29' 10"3, 29' 10.25"2
9.1 m2,3
Height 9' 11"3, 9' 11 1/3"2
3.02 m3, 3.03 m2
Wing area 186.43 ft2 2
17.32 m2 2
Weight  
Empty 4,570 lb2,3
2,073 kg2,3
Loaded 6,173 lb2,3
2,800 kg2,3
Performance  
Speed @ 13,120' /
4,000 m
300 mph3
483 kph3
Speed @ 16,405' /
5,000 m
289 mph2
465 kph2
Cruising speed  
Climb to 3,280' /
1,000 m
1.95 minutes2
Climb to 16,400' /
5,000 m
7 minutes3
Service ceiling 32,800'3
10,000 m3
Range 398 miles2,3
640 km2,3
Armament 2: 20 mm HS 4042
2: 7.5 mm MAC 1934 MG2
Wings 2: 20 mm3
2: 7.5 mm MG3
OR 4: 7.5 mm MG3

Sources:

  1. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  2. The Great Book of Fighters, William Green, Gordon Swanborough, 1994
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site