First flight of the MB 160 in 1937

2016/06/18
Passion

On this day, in 1937, the MB 160 made its first flight with André Curvale, the Bloch chief test pilot.

On this day, in 1937, the MB 160 made its first flight with André Curvale, the Bloch chief test pilot.

During the testing campaign, the prototype demonstrated that the aircraft was capable of flying with two engines shut down on the same side, and it came seventh in the Istres-Damas-Paris race in 1937.

MB 160 on the ground (1st flight en 1937). First four-engine airliner. © Dassault Aviation – All Rights Reserved

The MB 161, which was the first version, was the logical development of the MB 160 prototype. It was differentiated from the prototype MB 160 by several modifications to the airframe and replacement of the Hispano-Suiza engines by Gnome & Rhône radial engines. During the German occupation, the prototype, MB 161-01, was occasionally used by Maréchal Pétain and Pierre Laval before being requisitioned for use by Lufthansa.

In 1945, production was re-started. Forty aircraft were ordered by Air France in 1945 and a further five were ordered by the Polish airline LOT (Polskie Linie Lotnicze). Others were used by the French Air Force, as flying test-beds for engines and the Leduc prototypes, and by the French Navy for search and rescue duties. A total of one hundred aircraft were built and Air France used its aircraft until the middle 50s.

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