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EKW D-3800 (MS.406H)

Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter

Switzerland | 1940

"The Swiss Air Force D-3800 monoplane fighter of the World War 2 period had its origins in the French Morane-Saulnier MS.405 series."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the EKW D-3800 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter.
1 x Adolph Saurer (Hispano-Suiza) 12Y31 inline piston engine of 860 horsepower driving a three-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
295 mph
475 kph | 256 kts
Max Speed
30,840 ft
9,400 m | 6 miles
Service Ceiling
621 miles
1,000 km | 540 nm
Operational Range
2,700 ft/min
823 m/min
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the EKW D-3800 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter.
26.7 ft
8.15 m
O/A Length
34.9 ft
(10.65 m)
O/A Width
8.9 ft
(2.70 m)
O/A Height
3,968 lb
(1,800 kg)
Empty Weight
5,512 lb
(2,500 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the EKW D-3800 (MS.406H) Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter .
1 x 20mm Hispano-Suiza HS.404 autocannon firing through the propeller hub.
4 x 7.5mm machine guns in wings (belt-fed).
Notable series variants as part of the EKW D-3800 (MS.406H) family line.
D-3800 - Base Series Designation; based in the MS.405/Ms.406 French design; 8 pre-series with 74 production models and two additional units built from spares.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 01/20/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Morane-Saulnier was a prolific designer and builder of aircraft since its founding in 1911. Beyond World War 1 (1914-1918), the company contributed throughout the Interwar years and into World War 2 (1939-1945) where its aircraft evolved into very modern, very capable combat platforms. The MS.406 series - born from the "MS.405" - was one of the concern's final offerings before the Fall of France in May-June 1940 and this single-seat, single-engine monoplane fighter went on to see service with several forces of the period beyond the French Air Force itself.

Back in September of 1938, the first of two "MS.406H" fighters were given to Switzerland for evaluation and to serve as the basic form for a locally-produced, licensed version of the same French aircraft - this to become the "D-3800" in Swiss service. These aircraft were essentially MS.405 airframes and wings carrying the engine (a Hispano-Suiza 12Y31 inline) of the MS.406 production type though with localized changes to suit a standing Swiss Air Force fighter requirement. For example, the original the drum-fed wing machine guns were converted to belt-fed models already in Swiss service and the two-pitch propeller gave way to a controllable-pitch form of local origination. The aircraft production program was headed by Eidgenossisches Konstruktions-Werkstatte (EKW) with the engines coming from Adolph Saurer AG.

The Swiss Air Force contracted for eight pre-production models constructed to the revised Swiss fighting standard and these were built during 1939. Deliveries then followed in January of 1940 and, into late August 1940, some seventy-four production-quality aircraft were built in all. In 1942, with the war already a daily part of European existence, at least two more fighters were built from what were essentially available spares and this was used to further strengthen Swiss Air Force numbers. The following year, the fleet was modernized with the changes enacted to the "D-3801" standard (detailed elsewhere on this site) - this included an ejector-exhaust system to provide additional forward thrust, upgrading the internal control system, and improved engine cooling.

All told, the streamlined fighter could reach a speed of 295 miles-per-hour and had an endurance of 1.75 hours in the air. Rate-of-climb reached 2,685 feet-per-minute, making them suitable interceptors if needed. Empty weight was 4,000lb against a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 5,500lb. Dimensions included a running length of 26.9 feet, a wingspan of 34.9 feet, and a height of 8.10 feet.

With Switzerland's independent stance during the Second World War, the D-3800 fighter was never exposed to actual combat - despite the very real threat of a German invasion. The fleet served out its days as advanced trainers for future generations of Swiss air men and the final forms were given up for good in 1954 as the jet age began to take hold.

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Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the EKW D-3800 (MS.406H). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 84 Units

Contractor(s): Eidgenossisches-Konstruktions-Werkstatte (EKW) - Swtizerland / Morane-Saulnier - France
National flag of Switzerland

[ Switzerland (retired) ]
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Image of the EKW D-3800 (MS.406H)
Image from the Public Domain.

Going Further...
The EKW D-3800 (MS.406H) Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter appears in the following collections:
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