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MB 480

The MB 480 was all-metal float plane strongly resembled the MB 131. It was powered by two 1,060hp Gnome & Rhône 14 N02/03 engines.

Origins and prototypes

In 1935, the Air Ministry’s STAé Aeronautical Department issued the MT/CPT 9 programme for a multi-mission “combat scout” seaplane for bombing, torpedo and surveillance missions. The requirement was revised in March 1937 and gave rise to the MB 480. Two prototypes were ordered in May 1937.

This all-metal float plane strongly resembled the MB 131. It was powered by two 1,060hp Gnome & Rhône 14 N02/03 engines.

The first prototype was built in Courbevoie, then transported by train and assembled in Marignane in 1938, but it did not take off from Berre Lake (étang de Berre) until the third week of June 1939, with René Le Bail at the controls. The second prototype flew in October 1939. The Navy having changed its philosophy in favor of land-based aircraft, testing of the MB 480 was interrupted on 9 September 1939, and the programme was abandoned on 10 December.

The first prototype was destroyed after colliding with a pier at Balaruc on Thau Lake on 23 June 1940. The other prototype was placed in storage, then abandoned at Berre.

MB 480, seaplane, on the ground, in front of a shed
MB 480, seaplane, on the ground, in front of a shed

Datasheet

Dimensions

Wing span 23.50 m
Length 19.10 m
Height 4.60 m
Wing area 82.20 m²

Weight

Equipped empty weight 6,800 kg
Maximum gross weight 9,970-10,000kg

Performances

Maximum speed at 2,000 m 310 km/h
Absolute ceiling 7,100 m
Range at 80% of max speed 654 km
Takeoff run 130 m
Autonomy 1,000 km
Crew 5
Weapons Bombs or 2 x 670kg torpedoes, 2 x 7.5mm machine guns and one Hispano-Suiza 20mm gun

Engine

Type 2 x 1,060hp Gnome & Rhône 14 N 02/03 engines