On this day, in 1936, the MB 131 made its first flight at Villacoublay, with André Curvale and Armand Raimbeau at the controls.
Beginning in late 1935, the concept of a BCR (Bombardement-Combat-Renseignement) combat aircraft began to lose ground in the French Air Force in favor of more specialized aircraft. So Marcel Bloch simultaneously developed an airplane that, while based on the initial Bloch 130 airframe, was given completely redesigned aerodynamics. This was the Bloch 131, a much more modern aircraft equipped with Gnome-Rhône 14 Kirs/Kjrs 870 hp engines. The new Bloch 131 was a four-seater reconnaissance-bomber aircraft (known as the RB4) that was no longer anything like its predecessor.
Series of the aircraft were ordered even before the 01 was tested. Between 1936 and 1937, five contracts for a total of 142 MB 131s and MB 132s were signed and replaced the initial contract for 40 type 130s. In 1938, under the ‘Plan V’ program for building advanced aircraft, all of these orders were changed to orders for the MB 131 model.