On this day, in 1948, the MD 311 Flamant made its first flight in Bordeaux-Mérignac with Georges Brian and Jean Dillaire at the controls.
On July 30, 1946, Marcel Dassault secured a contract to produce and provide two MD 30 type aircraft in two versions :
- A pilot training and liaison aircraft (n°1) which became the MB 303
- A bombing and navigation training aircraft (n° 2) which became the MB 301.
In accordance with the government’s wishes, these aircraft were to be fitted with the Lorraine Béarn engine. The two-engine MB 303 first flew at Mérignac on February 10, 1947, piloted by Georges Brian and Kostia Rozanoff, accompanied by the mechanic Jean Dillaire. By May 1947, the test program was practically complete; it was already clear that the Lorraine Béarn engines lacked power. The MB 303 was consequently abandoned in favor of the MD 315 simultaneously developed by Marcel Dassault at his own cost and equipped with Snecma 12 S Argus engine.
A initial contract was signed on December 3, 1947, for 65 aircraft, followed one year later (on November 1948), by another for 230 and at the end of 1950, a further 25 for the Navy ; a total – prototypes included – of 325 aircraft.
The Flamant range encompassed three models:
- the glazed-nose MD 311 used for bombing and navigation training
- the MD 312 used for liaison flights and flying schools – which included a bespoke MD 312 M used by the Navy –
- MD 315, used for overseas work and air-ambulance missions.