The Bloch MB.220 began life for the French as a passenger-hauler before being requisitioned into military service for the French Air Force during World War 2.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Credit: Image from the Public Domain.
Marcel Bloch founded Societe des Avions Marcel Bloch in 1928 (today better known as "Dassault)". The concern became a major aero-industry player for the nation of France throughout the 1930s and into the lead-up to World War 2 (1939-1945). One of its pre-war developments - to see service in the conflict - became the Bloch MB.220.
The MB.220 was conceived of as a passenger transport (airliner) of twin-engine design. The aircraft's appearance was consistent with the period: low monoplane wings being featured, a short nose ahead of the cockpit, and a single-finned tail unit. The aircraft was given a tail-dragger undercarriage arrangement to boot. For power, the company partnered with Gnome-Rhone and installed its 14N series air-cooled radial piston engines of 985 horsepower (each). These would be held in wing nacelles, one per wing unit. Beyond the flight crew of four (including two pilots), the aircraft held ferrying capacity for up to sixteen occupants.
Dimensionally, the MB. 220 featured a length of 63 feet and a wingspan of 74.10 feet. Its empty weight was 15,000lb with a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 20,945lb. Performance included a maximum speed of 205 miles per hour, a range out to 870 miles and a service ceiling of 23,000 feet.
A first-flight by way of prototype was had during December of 1935. Air France became the launch customer and sixteen production-quality models then followed with service introduction being had in 1938. With the arrival of war in 1939, the series was adopted by the French Air Force (as basic transports), though only the seventeen mentioned airframes were all that was ever completed, and use of this stock fell between Free French, Vichy French and German forces for their time in the air.
Before the end, a small collection of five was all that was left. In the post-war period, this lot was re-engined to take the American Wright R-1820-97 "Cyclone" engine instead and redesignated as the MB.221. Beyond that, the series fell to aviation history in the years following.
Status Retired, Out-of-Service
[ 17 Units ] : Societe des Avions Marcel Bloch - France
France (Free, Vichy); Nazi Germany (limited)
- Commercial Market
- VIP Transport
63.16 ft (19.25 m)
74.87 ft (22.82 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the Bloch MB.220 production model)
15,002 lb (6,805 kg)
20,944 lb (9,500 kg)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Bloch MB.220 production model)
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