Morane Saulnier M.S. 502 'Criquet'

Morane Saulnier M.S. 502 'Criquet'

The Morane Saulnier M.S. 502 'Criquet' was the version of the Fieseler Fi 156 produced in largest numbers after the end of the Second World War. The Storch had been produced at the Morane Saulnier factory at Puteaux since 1942, and after the war production continued, using the original Argus engine and the designation M.S. 500. When the supply of Argus engines ran short alternative power-sources had to be used. On the M.S. 502 Morane Saulnier used the 230hp Salmson 9Abc radial engine, a rather old-fashioned looking engine with exposed cylinders that made the aircraft look like an inter-war design. This didn't appear to have any impact on the effectiveness of the 'Criquet', and it had a long career with the Armée de l'Air and the Aéronavale,

Morane Saulnier M.S. 502 'Criquet' - History

One 172 kw (230 hp) Salmson 9 AB nine cylinder radial air-cooled engine



During World War II, to permit German construction plants to be used for the production of fighters and bombers, the German RLM decided to transfer production of lesser important aircraft to other countries, the types involved including the Fieseler Storch. Some 925 examples of the Fieseler Fi 156 Storch were built at Morane Saulnier’s Puteaux plant. French production included a number of models, the differences mostly relating to the engine installed. The MS.500 was fitted with the Argus As 10C eight-cylinder inverted VEE engine the MS.501 with the six-cylinder in-line Renault 6Q engine and the MS.502 with the Salmson 9AB, the latter being the only French built variant with a radial engine.

Production continued for a short time after the war for the French Air Force. After retirement a number saw service with aero clubs, and others were used for glider towing duties. In 1964, to increase power and reliability for the latter purpose, a number were fitted with the 224 kw (300 hp) Jacobs R-915A seven-cylinder radial engine, these becoming known as the MS.505.

One example of the series has been imported to Australia. Originally built at the Gerhard Fieseler Werke GmbH plant at Kassel-Bettenhausen late in World War II, this machine had originally been fitted with an Argus As 10C inverted V-8 engine. However, this was one of 40 examples retrofitted after the war by Morane Saulnier with the Jacobs R-755-A2 radial engine, being re-designated MS.505 Criquet (Locust). A number of derivatives of the design were built, including the 501, 502, 504, 505 and 506, the variant number determining the engine fitted to the airframe.

After military service the Australian example (Werk No 120-40) became F-BJQD and was used for sometime for parachute operations. It eventually joined the Jean Baptiste Salin collection at de Cerny Aerodrome near the French town of La Ferte-Alais. It was imported to Australia in 1995 for restoration and ownership was transferred to an owner in Queensland in 2003, to be based at Caboolture but restored to airworthiness by Aerotec Queensland at their facility at Toowoomba.


Morane-Saulnier on ranskalainen lentokonetehdas. Yhtiön perustivat nimellä Aéroplanes Morane-Saulnier 10. lokakuuta 1911 Léon Morane ja Raymond Saulnier, joka oli suunnittellut lentokoneita jo ilmailupioneeri Louis Blériotn kanssa.

Vuonna 1913 Marcel Brindejonc lensi Euroopan läpi Morane-lentokoneella. Roland Garros lensi Välimeren yli MS Type H -lentokoneella alle kahdeksassa tunnissa.

Morane-Saulnier L oli ensimmäinen kaupallisesti onnistunut kone. Siinä oli potkurin läpi ampuva konekivääri, jota kehitettiin Roland Garrosin kanssa. Se kuitenkin ampui lavat rikki. Lapoja vahvistettiin metallilevyillä vuonna 1915 ja synkronointia pyrittiin parantamaan. Ensimmäisessä maailmansodassa Moranen koneet osoittautuivat hyviksi hävittäjälentokoneiksi – muun muassa ranskalainen hävittäjä-ässä Georges Guynemer lensi Moranella.

1920-luvun lopussa ja 1930-luvun alussa yhtiö tuotti M.S.230- ja M.S.315 -koneita. Armée de l'Airin paras hävittäjä toisen maailmansodan alussa oli M.S.406, mutta se oli suunniteltu vuonna 1935, ja vuonna 1940 se oli aikansa elänyt.

Sotien jälkeen Morane-Saulnier tuotti koulukoneita ja siviilikoneita. Potez osti yhtiön 7. tammikuuta 1962 ja se sai nimen Société d'Exploitation des Établissements Morane-Saulnier (SEEMS). Vuonna 1965 se sulautettiin Sud Aviation -yhtiöön ja 1966 siviilikoneet siirrettiin Société de Construction d'Avions de Tourisme et d'Affaires -yhtiölle (SOCATA), jonka Aérospatiale osti myöhemmin.

Operational history

The Storch could be found on every front throughout the European and North African theaters of operation in World War II. It will probably always be most famous for its role in Operation Eiche, the rescue of deposed Italian dictator Benito Mussolini from a boulder-strewn mountain top near the Gran Sasso, surrounded by Italian troops. German commando Otto Skorzeny dropped with 90 paratroopers onto the peak and quickly captured it, but the problem remained of how to get back off. A Focke Achgelis Fa 223 helicopter was sent, but it broke down en route. Instead, pilot Walter Gerlach flew in a Storch, landed in 30 m (100 ft), took aboard Mussolini and Skorzeny, and took off again in under 80 m (250 ft), even though the plane was overloaded. The Storch involved in rescuing Mussolini bore the radio code letters, or Stammkennzeichen, of "SJ + LL" in motion picture coverage of the daring rescue.

On 26 April 1945 a Storch was one of the last planes to land on the improvised airstrip in the Tiergarten near the Brandenburg Gate during the Battle of Berlin and the death throes of the Third Reich. It was flown by the test pilot Hanna Reitsch, who flew her lover Field Marshall Robert Ritter von Greim from Munich to Berlin to answer a summons from Hitler. Once in Berlin von Greim was informed that he was to take over command of the Luftwaffe from Hermann Göring. [ 1 ]

A Storch was the victim of the last dog fight on the Western Front and another was fittingly downed by a direct Allied counterpart of the Storch—an L-4 Grasshopper—from the L-4's crew directing their pistol fire at it. The pilot and co-pilot of the L-4, Lts. Duane Francis and Bill Martin, opened fire on the Storch with their .45 caliber pistols, forcing the German air crew to land and surrender. The involved Storch was the only aircraft known to have been downed by handgun fire in the entire war. [citation needed]

A total of about 2,900 Fi 156s, mostly Cs, were produced from 1937 to 1945. When the main Fieseler plant switched to building Bf 109s in 1943, Storch production was shifted to the Mráz factory in Choceň, Czechoslovakia. A large number were also built at the captured Morane-Saulnier factory in France, starting in April 1942, as the M.S.500 Criquet. Both factories continued to produce the planes after the war for local civilian markets (in Czechoslovakia it was made as K-65 Čáp, 138 were made by 1949).

Licenced production was also started in Romainia in 1943 at the ICAR (Īntreprinderea de construcţii aeronautice româneşti) factory in Bucharest. Only 10 were built by the time Romania switched sides, with a further 70 aircraft being built by the Romanians before production ended in 1946. [ 2 ]

During the war at least 60 Storchs were captured by the Allies, one becoming the personal aircraft of Field Marshal Montgomery.

Because of its superb STOL characteristics (which would be of obvious great benefit to bush pilots, for example) there have been many attempts to recreate or outright copy the Storch in modern form, namely in the form of various homebuilt aircraft.[1] One of the most successful recent examples of this is the Slepcev Storch designed by Nestor Slepcev. It is a 3/4 scale reproduction of the original with some modification for simplicity. Through the use of modern materials the aircraft features better STOL performance than the original with a take-off run of 30 m and landing-roll of 50 m with no headwind.

Morane-Saulnier MS.502 Criquet

Morane-Saulnier MS.502 Criquet No. 609, French Air Force, 1947.

When France was liberated in 1944, work was immediately started to rebuild the French Air Force as an independent air arm. Aircraft were sourced from various sources: alongside units which had fought under the colours of the Royal Air Force using British and American-built types, newly established units were formed using whatever was available.

In a move that showed how much the tides had turned, the newly rebuilt French Air Force also included a number of German types - or rather, German aircraft which had either been captured during the liberation of France, or which were being license-built by French factories under orders of the German occupiers.

One such aircraft was the Morane-Saulnier MS.502 - a French-built variant of the Fieseler Fi 156 "Storch" observation plane. After the liberation, construction of the Storch continued in liberated France, however the type was now redesignated as the "Morane-Saulnier Criquet" as the aircraft were license-built by the Morane-Saulnier factories. The original MS.500 used the same Argus engine as its German counterpart, however when these became unavailable, alternative engines were tried. The MS.501 used a Renault inline engine the MS.502 swapped this for a Salmson radial engine which drastically altered the type's nose profile. Further variants were built with a Jacobs radial engine (MS.504 & MS.505) as well with American-built Lycoming engines (MS.506) before the French production of the Storch/Criquet wound down in 1965. In all, 925 French Criquets were built between 1944 and 1965.

1/72 Academy 1661 (Fieseler Fi 156 Storch)
Inventory number 1103 - purchased July 23rd 2016
Seventh model completed in 2016

Morane-Saulnierin lentokoneet

  • Morane-Saulnier A
  • Morane-Saulnier B
  • Morane-Saulnier G
  • Morane-Saulnier H
  • Morane-Saulnier LA
  • Morane-Saulnier N
  • Morane-Saulnier I
  • Morane-Saulnier V
  • Morane-Saulnier P
  • Morane-Saulnier T
  • Morane-Saulnier AC
  • Morane-Saulnier AF
  • Morane-Saulnier AI
  • Morane-Saulnier AN
  • Morane-Saulnier AR
  • Morane-Saulnier BB
  • Morane-Saulnier MoS-30
  • Morane-Saulnier MoS-43
  • Morane-Saulnier MoS-53
  • Morane-Saulnier MoS-121
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-129
  • Morane-Saulnier MoS-130
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-130 Michelin Cup
  • Morane-Saulnier MoS-132
  • Morane-Saulnier MoS-138
  • Morane-Saulnier MoS-139
  • Morane-Saulnier MoS-147
  • Morane-Saulnier MoS-148
  • Morane-Saulnier MoS-149
  • Morane-Saulnier MoS-152
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-180
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-181
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-185
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-200
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-221
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-222
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-223
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-224
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-225
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-226
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-227
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-230
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-231
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-232
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-233
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-234
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-235
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-236
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-275
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-315
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-325
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-340
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-341
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-342
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-343
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-345
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-350
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-430
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-435
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-450
  • Morane-Saulnier MS.470 Vanneau
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-500 Criquet
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-502
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-505
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-570
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-571
  • Morane Saulnier MS.603
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-703 Pétrel
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-755 Fleuret
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-760 Paris
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-893E
  • Morane-Saulnier MS-1500

Morane-Saulnier MS.410

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/26/2020 | Content © | The following text is exclusive to this site.

There was much going on behind the scenes during France's battle for its very existence under the pressure of the German war machine in May-June 1940. In the years leading up to the war, a plethora of programs were undertaken to shore up French military strength in the region and abroad and one product of the period became the "MS.406" - an all-modern single-seat, single-engine monoplane fighter put forth by long-time airplane-maker Morane-Saulnier. The type recorded its first-flight on August 8th, 1935 (as the prototype "MS.405") and series introduction occurred in 1938 - just in time for war.

The aircraft showcased a sleek design consistent with the period: the nose contained a spinner which contoured nicely with the smooth edges of the cowling and fuselage. The cockpit was seated at midships with the pilot under a framed canopy. The mainplanes were near midships as well and of straight-lined design with rounded tips. The tail unit incorporated a tapering vertical fin to go along with low-mounted horizontal planes. The undercarriage, of tail-dragger form, was retractable.

Further development evolved the MS.406 into the upgraded "MS.410", this as the MS.406 series was just reaching French fighter squadrons during 1939. Proposed changes to the original aircraft included a much stronger wing with more internal volume so as to add another pair of 7.5mm MAC 1934 drum-fed machine guns - bringing the armament to 1 x 20mm Hispano-Suiza HS.404 autocannon firing through the propeller hub with 4 x 7.5mm MAC 1934 machine guns in the wings. The retracting radiator feature of the original MS.406 was deleted in favor of a simpler, fixed arrangement. Exhaust "ejectors" were also added to transfer some of the engine's byproduct to become additional thrust to aid straight line performance.

Better armed, stronger and faster than its progenitor, the MS.410 looked to be the next logical step in the evolution of the promising MS.406 as a whole.

However, fortunes for the new fighter changed when the Battle of France turned against the defenders. About 150 of the new wings had been completed at the time of the French surrender in June of 1940 and only five MS.410s had been completed at all. With the Germans now in control, many aero-projects suffered cancellation but some were allowed to continue under their new masters - mainly to shore up ongoing needs covering newly-conquered territories or in support of German allies.

As such, the MS.410 modernization program got underway and a batch of existing MS.406 fighters were fitted with the new four-gun wings. To simplify matters, the exhaust ejection feature was altogether dropped and only some of the lot were fitted with the simpler radiator arrangement.

What MS.410s managed to see completion were either held locally or shipped off to allied Finland (eleven total examples in this case) in 1941 to be used against the Soviets. Croatia became the only other known recipient of this particular variant fighter design.

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Operational history [ edit ]

A number of escadrilles were created to operate the AI, but by mid-May 1918, most of the aircraft were replaced by the SPAD XIII. ΐ] After structural problems had been resolved, the aircraft were then relegated to use as advanced trainers, with new purpose built examples being designated MoS 30. Α] Many were used post-war after having been surplussed off, as aerobatic aircraft, including one which was flown by Charles Nungesser.

Fifty-one MoS 30s were purchased by the American Expeditionary Force as pursuit trainers. Α]

Morane Saulnier M.S. 502 'Criquet' - History

From Circa 1944 to Circa 1965

Constructed as a MS-502 by Morane-Saulnier.
Johnny Comstedt comments: According to FAA Reg. built in 1939 but more probably built between 1944 and 1965. According to Wikipedia MS-502s were built after Morane-Saulnier had ran out of German (Argus) engines after the liberation of France.

To Salis Jean, La Ferte Alais, Ile France Hte Normandie with c/r F-BFHB (Ms 502, 728).
Based at La Ferte-alais.

Civil registration, F-BFHB, cancelled.

To MacGuire John, Santa Teresa, NM with c/r N28670.

Certificate of airworthiness for NX28670 (MORANE 502, 728) issued.

To War Eagles Air Museum, Santa Teresa, NM with c/r N28670.

To War Eagles Air Museum, Santa Teresa Airport/Dona Ana County Airport, El Paso, NM.
View the Location Dossier

Certificate of airworthiness for NX28670 (MORANE 502, 728) issued.

Photographer: Gustavo Bonilla
Notes: War Eagles Air Museum

Photographer: Gustavo Bonilla
Notes: War Eagles Air Museum


As a direct result of concern over the escalating cost of fighter manufacture, the French government and air force instituted a program for chasseurs légers or 'light fighters' in 1926. This was unofficially known as the 'Jockey' program, and it envisaged the use of moderate guns, minimal equipment and small amounts of ammunition. Emphasis was placed on climb rate, endurance and a ceiling (high for the time) of 8000 metres. To meet this requirement, Morane-Saulnier designed the MoS-121, renamed the MS 121 in 1927, as a single-seat parasol monoplane of mixed construction.

After flying for the first time in mid-1927, it proved underpowered and incapable of climbing easily and was discarded in favour of the Morane-Saulnier MS.221.

Data from Jane's all the World's Aircraft 1928, [1] The Complete Book of Fighters [2]

Watch the video: MS-505 Criquet (January 2022).