General Information
Type Type N Type I Type V
Function Fighter
Year 1914 1916 1916
Crew 1
Powerplant (1)
Type Le Rhône 9C Le Rhône 9J
Power 80hp 110hp
Size (m)
Length 5.83 5.815
Height 2.25 2.5 ?
Wingspan 8.146 8.242 8.75
Wing area 11m2 ?
Weights (kg) and loads
Empty 188 334 ?
Loaded 444 510 ?
Wing Load (kg/m2) 40.4 46.4 ?
Power load (kg/hp) 5.55 4.64 ?
Speed (km/h)
at 0m 144 to 152 176 165
at 2000m ? 164 ?
Flight Endurance 1h30min 1h45min ?
Ceiling ?m
Climb (min)
1000m 4.0 2.8 3.3
2000m 10 to 12 6.3 8.0
3000m ? 12.7 15.3
4000m 45 ?
Guns 1*mg 8mm Hotchkiss,

or 7.7mm Vickers

Morane-Saulnier Types N, I and V

23k b/w photo from "War Planes of the First World War - Fighters Vol.5" by J.M.Bruce. Picture shows Russian ace Ivan Smirnov and a captured German officer in front of a Morane-Saulnier Type I of XIX Fighter Detachment. Note faulty retouched right wing tip - the triangular fitment on it is in fact the cabane (king post) structure of a distant Morane-Saulnier Type P parasol.

The first prototype of the Type N had its public debut at the flying meeting held at Aspern, Vienna from June 21-28, 1914, were it was flown with moderate success by the famous French pilot Roland Garros. This type was an attempt to achieve the same performance like the contemporary Deperdussin monocoques (at that time the most advanced aircraft in the world), but with a much simpler construction. The design bore a family resemblance to the earlier Types G and H. The prototype was powered by an 80hp Gnome rotary engine and showed a rather peculiar distinctive feature in form of an enormous spinner. Like many other aircraft of its time this type had no ailerons, lateral control was by wing warping.

In April 1915 a single Type N appeared at the front (flown by Eugène Gilbert), this was either the same or a second prototype. Its armament consisted of a fixed forward-firing 8mm Hotchkiss gun, which fired unsynchronized through the propeller arc. To prevent damage, the air-screw was instead protected by two triangular steel deflector plates - a device pioneered by Roland Garros. Soon afterwards a small production series was ordered for the French Aviation Militaire under the designation Type Nm. In official papers this type was designated as MoS.6.C1, but all Morane-Saulnier types of this series were popularly known as "Monocoques", albeit they were not of monocoque construction.

Maybe the largest user of this type was the British Royal Flying Corps, which received 27 machines of this type in 1916. Here the machines were known as Morane "Bullets", their armament consisted of a single unsynchronized 7.7mm Lewis gun. Their flying characteristics left much to be desired, they were said to be too difficult to fly for the average pilot.

The Russians also received a number of Type N's in 1916 (another source quotes only one example) and one machine is known to have been under construction at the Dux works in Moscow in the same year, but was not completed. Total production of the Type N is believed to have been 49 machines.

In 1916 there appeared a version with an 110hp Le Rhône engine under the designation Type I. It seems that this type was used operationally by the French only in one or two examples, but the British received at least four examples and the Russians also received them in some numbers (on April 1, 1917 there are reported eighteen machines of this type being in service with the only Russian user, the XIX Fighter Detachment - commanded by A.Kazakov - at Lutsk). They were the last operational aircraft of this type and some of them even survived the October Revolution. Most common armament was one synchronized Lewis or Vickers gun with Alkan or Vickers-Challenger synchronizing gear.

The last variant of the basic design was the Type V. This model also appeared in 1916 and had a much larger fuel capacity, which caused major redesign. It is doubtful whether any of those aircraft were used by the French or Russian troops, but the British ordered twelve machines. At first it was planned to equip them with a Cadroy-Cordonnier mechanical bullet deflector instead of a synchronizing gear, but in fact most aircraft were delivered with a synchronized Vickers gun.

Cutaway drawing of Morane-Saulnier Type N from "An Illustrated Anatomy of the World's Fighters".

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  • "War Planes of the First World War - Fighters Vol.5" by J.M.Bruce;
  • "An Illustrated Anatomy of the World's Fighters" by W.Green and G.Swanborough;
  • "Aircraft Archive - Aircraft of WWI", Vol.3, published by Argus Books, England
  • "Technik und Einsatz der Kampfflugzeuge vom 1. Weltkrieg bis heute" ("Technology and usage of combat aircraft from WW I until today") by B.Gunston (in German);
  • "Aero" magazine, Vol.118 (in German);
  • "Die Flugzeuge des Ersten Weltkrieges" ("The Aircraft of WWI") by K.Kens and H.Müller (in German);
  • N, Morane-Saulnier
  • I, Morane-Saulnier
  • V, Morane-Saulnier
  • Morane-Saulnier Type N
  • Morane-Saulnier Type N, a review of the Revell kit;
  • Morane-Saulnier Type N, nice color profiles
  • Morane-Saulnier Type N, photo and some information;
  • Morane-Saulnier Type N, nice photo;
  • Morane-Saulnier Type N, in German;
  • Morane-Saulnier Type N, in Estonian;
  • Morane-Saulnier Type N, some information;

  • Created for RAM February 23, 2000
    by Thomas Heinz
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