Bloch MB 157
Designed by M. Lucien Servanty and the last of the line of fighters stemming from the Bloch MB-150 of 1936, the MB-157 was a singularly outstanding fighter deserving of a fate far better than that for which it was destined. When the new Gnome-Rhdne 14R air-cooled radial engine appeared in 1939, the SNCASO considered its installation in an MB-152 airframe under the designation MB- 156. It was soon discovered that this marriage would be difficult to accomplish owing to the weight of the new engine, and as the Power-plant was worthy of a cleaner airframe in order to take full advantage of the 1,700 h.p. that it offered, it was decided to design an entirely new fighter which would retain the structural principles of the earlier MB-152.
Design work proceeded rapidly, and construction of a prototype MB-157 was initiated at Villacoublay in December 1939. The Gnome-Rhone 14R-4 engine installed in the prototype MB-157 offered 1,590 h.p. for take-off, 1,700 h.p. at 26,250 ft., and a cruising output of 1,400 h.p., and it was proposed that an armament of two 20-mm. Hispano-Suiza cannon and four 7.5-mm. machine guns should be housed in the wings. By the time the proto- type components were ready for assembly, German forces were approaching Paris. Therefore, on June 9, 1940, they were loaded on a trailer which was to be towed to Poitiers, but the trailer was captured by a German column and ordered to the SNCASO establishment at Bordeaux-Merignac in the occupied zone of France. The completion of the aircraft was authorized by the German authorities, and the prototype MB-157 was flown for the first time in March 1942, minus armament.
Flight trials were extremely successful, and during the first weeks of 1943 the Germans ordered the MB-157 to be ferried to Orly. To the amazement of the Luftwaffe personnel at Orly, the MB-157 landed there forty minutes ahead of the scheduled time given by the Merignac control! At Orly, the MB-157 was deprived of its power plant, which was tested in the Hispano-Suiza wind tunnel at Bois-Colombes and subsequently shipped to Germany. The airframe remained in one of the two Orly airship hangers, where it was later destroyed in an Allied air raid. The MB-157 was an extremely advanced fighter for its time, possessing a performance attained by piston-engincd fighters only during the closing stages of the war.
|| Single seat fighter
|| 1 Gnome Rhône 14R-4
|| Length 9,70 m , height 3,2 m , span 10,70 m , wing area 19,4 m2 ,
|| Empty 2390 kg , loaded 3250 kg , max. take off weight
|| Max.. speed 710 km/h at 7100 m, max. continues speed 670 km/h at 8500 m, cruising speed 400 km/h , range 1095 km, endurance 2 h 30 min. at 400 km/h , ca 1 h at max. speed, patrol time at 70 % Power 1 h 30 min., service ceiling 11000 m , climb 11 min. to 8000 m, take off distance 200 m, landing speed 110 km/h
||2 20 mm Hispano-Suiza 404 cannons, 4 7,5 mm MAC 1934 M 39 machine guns