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Hafeli MA-7 (Militar-Apparat MA-7)


Biplane Fighter Prototype


Switzerland | 1926



"The Militar-Apparat MA-7 prototype fighter was the last notable Hafeli fighter entry for the nation of Switzerland."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/14/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Swiss-originated Hafeli MA-7 stood as something of a failed culmination of a line that began with the earlier Hafeli DH-2 of 1916. The single-seat, single-engine biplane was developed as a fighter with the Swiss Air Force in mind, utilizing all of the lessons learned from the Air War of 1914-1918. August Hafeli, having built a body of work with time spent at A.G.O. of the German Empire before transitioning to K+W of Switzerland, once-again headed development of an aircraft which would bear his name.

NOTE: The MA-7 is also known as the "K+W MA-7" (K+W being the builder) and is formally designated the "Militar-Apparat MA-7".

The MA-7 was developed to satisfy a standing Federal Military Department requirement of the Swiss Air Force for an all-modern day fighter. The Hafeli approach relied on the proven over-under biplane wing structure while construction involved fabric-over-wood covering being used alongside metal used at critical sections of the aircraft. Instead of parallel struts at the mainplanes as seen in previous Hafeli entries, N-type supports were used to brace the upper and lower wing members. The initial prototype form carried the locally-built (under license) Hispano-Suiza 8Fb HS-42 V-8 water-cooled piston engine developing 300 horsepower driving a two-bladed propeller at the nose. K+W was charged with the construction of the aircraft.

Armament would center on 2 x 7.45mm machine guns set at the nose and synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.

A first-flight was recorded during 1925 and trials with the Swiss Air Force followed from February 1926 until April 1926, at which point the design was found to be lacking in performance and stability, leading the specimen to be returned to the manufacturer for necessary changes. K+W responded by succeeding the original HS-42 engine with the still-experimental - though more powerful - LFW-12 "X-1" engine of 400 horsepower in an attempt to enhance performance (the engine was the product of the Swiss locomotive and Machine Works). However, the powerplant proved too heavy and dimensionally large for the existing airframe to accept without a total reworking of the aircraft. As such, it was decided to abandon additional work on the MA-7 - leaving the Swiss Air Force to take on the French-made, all-metal Dewoitine D.1 fighter instead.

Just the single prototype was constructed for the MA-7 project.

As built, the MA-7 was given a length of 21.7 feet, a wing span of 32.5 feet, and a height of 9.1 feet. The single-engine arrangement and general airframe configuration allowed for a maximum speed of 160 miles-per-hour to be achieved with cruising speeds near 145mph. Range was out to 190 miles and its service ceiling could reach 24,900 feet (indeed, April 1926 saw pilot Max Cartier set a Swiss Air Record of 32,200 feet in the MA-7). Rate-of-climb was 1,810 feet-per-minute.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Hafeli MA-7 Biplane Fighter Prototype.
1 x Hispano-Suiza 8Fb HS-42 V-8 water-cooled piston engine developing 300 horsepower driving a two-bladed propeller at the nose.
Propulsion
158 mph
255 kph | 138 kts
Max Speed
146 mph
235 kph | 127 kts
Cruise Speed
24,934 ft
7,600 m | 5 miles
Service Ceiling
186 miles
300 km | 162 nm
Operational Range
1,810 ft/min
552 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Hafeli MA-7 Biplane Fighter Prototype.
1
(MANNED)
Crew
21.7 ft
6.60 m
O/A Length
32.5 ft
(9.90 m)
O/A Width
9.2 ft
(2.79 m)
O/A Height
1,863 lb
(845 kg)
Empty Weight
2,679 lb
(1,215 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Hafeli MA-7 (Militar-Apparat MA-7) Biplane Fighter Prototype .
2 x 7.45mm machine guns mounted over the nose and synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Hafeli MA-7 (Militar-Apparat MA-7) family line.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Hafeli MA-7 (Militar-Apparat MA-7). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1 Units

Contractor(s): Eidgenossische Konstruktionswerkstaette (K+W) / Hafeli - Swtizerland
National flag of Switzerland

[ Switzerland (trialed) ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (158mph).

Graph Average of 150 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
1
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
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1 / 1
Image of the Hafeli MA-7 (Militar-Apparat MA-7)
Image from the Public Domain.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
AIR-TO-AIR COMBAT
X-PLANE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Hafeli MA-7 (Militar-Apparat MA-7) Biplane Fighter Prototype appears in the following collections:
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