MB 80-81

The prototype MB 80 performed its first flight at the beginning of the summer 1932 at Villacoublay, piloted by Zacharie Heu.

Sanitary MB 81, medical evacuation aircraft, in flight

Origins and prototypes

The prototype MB 80, built according to a State contract, performed its first flight at the beginning of the summer 1932 at Villacoublay, piloted by Zacharie Heu.

It was a completely metallic monoplane with low wings and equipped with a Lorraine 5 PC (120 CV engine).

It could reach a maximum speed of 190 km/h and a maximum height of 6 400 meters. Its take-off distance was 70 meters and its landing distance was 95 meters.

In autumn 1932, the MB 80 accomplished in one day and a half 209 landings flawlessly.

Production and operational experience

This apparel was built to rescue sick or wounded people in inconvenient landing fields: these very small fields could even lay in high altitudes – for example for military operation times in the mountains as it was the case in the Atlas in Morocco.

It could carry a wounded person laying, in a compartment designed on purpose between the pilot and the engine.

The sick person could thus softly rest on the wings. She was always under the gaze of the pilot and was related to him thanks to an “aviaphone”.

This low-cost aircraft was built without any State financial support. About twenty aircraft were ordered by the French air Ground forces (the French Air Force was created only in 1933). It contributed to relaunch Marcel Dassault’s career in aviation manufacture.

The production aircraft called MB 81 was equipped with a French engine: the Salmson 9 Nd (135 CV). It rendered the greatest services, in particular for the military operations in Morocco and Syria at the beginning of the thirties.

A few aircraft were used for the France campaign in 1939-1940. One of them was used by the Free French Forces transport group commanded by Colonel Lionel de Marmier in Syria.



Span 12,59 m
Length 8,40 m
Height 2,90 m


Unladen weight 580 kg


Max. Speed 188 km/h
Max. height 6400 m
Range 654 km


Type Salmson 9 Nd 9 cylindres en étoile de 175 cv
Back to top