Register here

Author Topic: Morane Saulnier MS.407 L.P.  (Read 1225 times)

Offline Jjr

  • CLEARANCE: Confidential
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • I really should change my personal text
Morane Saulnier MS.407 L.P.
« on: June 17, 2018, 01:57:59 am »
The MS.407 L.P. Had a dummy on board with parachute at the place of the fuel tank, the fuel tanks were now placed in the wings.
What was the purpose of the dummy?
Who can help me with pictures/drawings of the situation in the fuselage with the dummy and the new fuel tanks in the wings?
Thanks

Offline Jemiba

  • Global Moderator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ****
  • Posts: 7890
Re: Morane Saulnier MS.407 L.P.
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2018, 03:09:22 am »
The MS.407 LP gets a small mention on page 251 of "Morane-Saulnier - Ses Avions, Ses Projets" by Henri Lacaze,
and the author express some doubts about what is said about those modified aircraft, see the quick translation :

"Type 407 LP were three modified aircraft for tests with high-speed parachuting (LP stands for Lance-Parachute). The dummy and its parachute were positioned between the engine and the pilot, instead of the fuel tank, which was relocated to both sides and partly under the seat. As a precaution the windshield and the leading edges were reinforced. It seems that the dummy was dropped down through a hatch in the underside of the fuselage (one wonders, why the aircraft had a reinforced windshield then ?).
These trials began at the end of 1938 (first flight by Launay on December 9th, 1938). Why  were three aircraft necessary for these tests ? The aircraft used would then have been returned to the normal standard (personally, I doubt it):
- n / a 4549 MS 406 No. 14, replaced in the pre-series, registration N 264;
- n / a 4596 MS 406 No 31, registered L 418 then F-AKIF;
- n / c 4723 MS 406  No. 82, registered ? re-registered F-AKIG?  "

From that description, I tried to make a quick sketch without any claim for accuracy. I took the standard MS.406, removed
the antennaea, because they probably would have been in the way, when ejecting a dummy, hint at a beefed up wind shield
(in the original cockpit) and tried to add a hatch on the underside. Maybe these tests just should give a clue, if upwards or down-
wards ejection would be better ?
Replacing the fuel tank wouldn't have been much of a problem, I think, the weapon bays could have been used and, as mentioned
the space under the seat. And for such tests long range probably wasn't necessary.
It takes a long time, before all mistakes are made ...

Offline Jan den Das

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 248
Re: Morane Saulnier MS.407 L.P.
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2018, 07:27:29 am »
Thanks for the information.
If I read this I think that they planned, if the tests with the dummy were succesfull, to do the drop with real persons, because they projected a windscreen.
For a dummy you dont have to put a windscreen on the fuselage.
But the reason why this was done???????????

Offline Jemiba

  • Global Moderator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ****
  • Posts: 7890
Re: Morane Saulnier MS.407 L.P.
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2018, 08:26:53 am »
....
For a dummy you dont have to put a windscreen on the fuselage.
But the reason why this was done???????????
The windscreen for the dummy would change the airflow over the nose and so maybe prevent
the dummy from being tossed at the cockpit windscreen.

With aircraft getting faster and faster, the danger for bailing out pilots of fighter type aircraft
to hit the empennage was increasing. Maybe that was the motivation to test upwards and
downwards ejection/bail out.
It takes a long time, before all mistakes are made ...

Offline Jjr

  • CLEARANCE: Confidential
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • I really should change my personal text
Re: Morane Saulnier MS.407 L.P.
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2018, 09:19:37 am »
Sounds well faster and faster, but the 406 was not so fast, there were already faster aeroplanes.

Offline Jemiba

  • Global Moderator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ****
  • Posts: 7890
Re: Morane Saulnier MS.407 L.P.
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2018, 09:54:28 am »
Of course, but in France ? In 1938 ? And the MS.406 was the most numerous type, so
probably a logical choice. And for testing a difference in max. speed may not have been the
most important point.
It takes a long time, before all mistakes are made ...

Offline Jjr

  • CLEARANCE: Confidential
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • I really should change my personal text
Re: Morane Saulnier MS.407 L.P.
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2018, 10:17:59 am »
Something else, if downwards was better the factories had to design new aeroplanes completely diffrence.
There could nothing be under the pilot if he had to bale out downwards, so everething what was now under the pilot should gone to the sides so the fuselage should be wider.

Offline Jjr

  • CLEARANCE: Confidential
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • I really should change my personal text
Re: Morane Saulnier MS.407 L.P.
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2018, 10:26:04 am »
I think we beter stop this discussions and hope that some one in France contact or visited an airforce archiv or something.
Because, if there are any documents left, there is the answer

Offline Apophenia

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2038
Re: Morane Saulnier MS.407 L.P.
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2018, 04:13:42 pm »
Jjr Can't help with official drawings but Jens' drawing intrigues me ...

(BTW: On faster aircraft ... the MS 407LPs were certainly faster than the Dewoitine D.504LP that they replaced!)

Great interpretation Jens! But I have a few quibbles  :D

I'm not sure about the added windscreen. A mannequin could be 'packed' in a more compact shape than the real pilot - eg: a fetal position. World War Two parachute mannequins varied from articulated, 'crash-test dummy' style to stuffed-cloth human forms to simpler man-weighted shapes. Any of these types would fold up nicely into a Morane-sized space  ;)

Next question, is a top opening needed at all? Perhaps that belly drop hatch could also be used for loading the parachute-equipped mannequin as well? (And that drop hatch would need to be directly behind the coolant radiator to avoid interfering with the operation of the rudder pedals).  If the drop hatch could perform double duty, a simple loading hatch could have been installed in the upper decking.

As for the windscreen reinforcement, this may have had nothing to do with the mannequin per se. Instead, perhaps this reinforcing was purely structural - dictated by reduced rigidity in the former fuel tank bay? Attached is a rough retouch of an M.S.406 fuselage section view with a roughly-to-scale 'compacted' mannequin added.

Offline toura

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1179
Re: Morane Saulnier MS.407 L.P.
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2018, 09:58:39 am »
Hi all

Nothing more….
Just a photo from an old "aviation magazine"
Bye

Offline Apophenia

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2038
Re: Morane Saulnier MS.407 L.P.
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2018, 12:03:06 pm »
Interesting .. thanks toura. So, going by that sideview drawing, the antennae were retained. As expected, the drop hatch appears to be immediately aft of the radiator ... but what is/are the protrusion(s) directly beneath the cockpit?

Interesting too about the civil registration F-AKHZ which belonged to M.S.405-01 ... suggesting that at least one M.S.407 LP was converted from that prototype.

Offline Jemiba

  • Global Moderator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ****
  • Posts: 7890
Re: Morane Saulnier MS.407 L.P.
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2018, 10:05:51 am »
As Monsieur Lecaze asked "Why the aircraft had a reinforced windshield ?", That was the point, that made me believe,
that upward ejection was planned, too.
As the lower antennae could be tilted upwards, it probably wasn't an obstacle.
It takes a long time, before all mistakes are made ...

Offline riggerrob

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 251
  • I really should change my personal text
Re: Morane Saulnier MS.407 L.P.
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2018, 08:29:58 pm »
Downwards ejecting is not as bizarre as you think.
DE evolved from WW2-vintage bombers where gunners, etc. simply dove through belly hatches.
Early American jet bombers retained belly hatches and ramps before ejection seats were perfected (e.g. Skyknight).
Later they developed down-ward ejector seats for navigators, bombardiers, etc.
DE worked great until improved AAA forced nuclear bombers to attack at low level. Then USAF Strategic Air Command switched to upward-ejecting seats.

The first batch of Lockheed F-104 Starfighters had downward-ejecting seats. Once they figured out that many pilots ejected at low altitudes, shortly after take-off, Lockheed switched to upward-ejecting seats. As late as 1986, Canadian Air Force CF-104s retained fossils of downward-ejecting seats. A large hatch could still be quickly-detached from the belly below the cockpit. There was a large gap between the rudder pedals and the seat. Pilots still wore spurs to quickly retract their legs - in the event of ejection, etc.

An alternative explanation was that the French Air Force simply wanted to drop test parachute canopies at high air speeds. That only requires a sand-bag in the harness. Whether the parachute exits from the top or bottom of the fuselage is irrelevant.
Consider that during WW2, Irvin Industries of Canada modified a Fleet biplane to carry two or three test parachutes in the central fuselage (where the forward pilot used to sit). They dropped test parachutes through the belly of the airplane to confirm that they worked.

Offline Skyblazer

  • Global Moderator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ****
  • Posts: 13244
Re: Morane Saulnier MS.407 L.P.
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2018, 11:05:00 pm »
Interesting topic, thanks.

The question of the reinforced windshield in indeed puzzling if there was no upward ejection.