On January 5, 1939, the MB 174 made its first flight at Villacoublay, piloted by René Le Bail.
Derived from the Bloch MB 170 AB2-A3 designed by Henri Deplante’s team, the prototype MB 174 first flew on 5th January 1939 at Villacoublay, flown by René Le Bail. The tests demonstrated the fine qualities of the aircraft, and on 1st February 1939, the French Air Ministry placed an order for fifty MB 174 A3 for use by French Air Force reconnaissance units.
A light twin much appreciated by pilots for its speed and handling. It was after flying in a MB 174 in 1940 that Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was inspired to write his novel “Flight to Arras”.