Bloch M.B. 151: First of the family

Would you like to see this in-game?
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In this suggestion we’ll be looking at the first production model of the M.B.150 family, the M.B.151

mb-151-n-75

The Bloch MB151 was the further development of the MB150. The latter had been one of the winners of a 1934 requirement set out by the French air force for a new fighter aircraft. The other winner of this competition being the M.S.406. The first iteration of the 150 attempted to take to the skies in the summer of 1935, but failed to do so. This led to a redesign of the vehicle, with the new model actually taking off in October of 1937.
Mass production of the aircraft subsequently started, but the 150 was deemed impossible to mass-produce. More redesign followed and 2 models resulted of this, the 151 and 152. The 151 set itself apart from the 152 by having a weaker engine (the Gnome-Rhône 14N11 which produced 895-910 hp) and a less potent armament of 4x 7.5mm MAC 34 machine guns.
The 151 never managed to reach its promised top-speed and an issue with cooling further hampered its already mediocre performance. Nonetheless, the production run of the aircraft reached 140 units. Due to their poor performance, they were mostly relegated to training units, with the improved 152s becoming the actual frontline fighters.
An order from Greece for both the 151 and 152 variants was received, 9 were delivered to Greece before the fall of France.
After France surrendered, the remaining vehicles either stayed in service with the Vichy-French air force or were seized by the Germans. The fate of the M.B.151s is mostly unknown unfortunately, by judging by the history of the 152s, some were probably shipped to Germany for analysis and later use as trainers.

mb-151-n-13

General Characteristics:

  • Length: 9.10 m
  • Width: 10.5 m
  • Height: 3.95 m
  • Wing surface area: 15.5 m^2
  • Powerplant: 1x Gnome-Rhône 14N11 which produced 895-910 hp
  • Maximum speed: 460 km/h
  • Empty weight: 2097 kg
  • Total weight: 2522 kg

Armament:

  • 4x 7.5mm MAC 34 machine guns

Place in-game:

Given its mediocre performance even at the time of its conception, the M.B.151 would probably best be suited as a low rank aircraft (BR 1.3 -1.7). This is further enforced by its rather limited armament of 4x 7.5mm machine guns. As a mass-produced aircraft, I definitely feel like it should be represented in-game, as should be easily accessible to most players, either by being researchable or by being a GE premium. It would be unfortunate to repeat the M.B.152 situation where a mass-produced French fighters becomes almost unavailable to the people who would want to play it.
I do feel that the pre- and early-war French aviation is currently under-represented in-game, so no matter how this vehicle would come to the game, I and surely others too would be very happy to see it arrive.

Sources

Bloch-152
Bloch M.B.150-155 - fighter
Marcel Bloch MB 151 - MB 152
Bloch MB-151
WW2 Drawings
https://www.dassault-aviation.com/en/passion/aircraft/military-bloch-aircraft/mb-150-157/

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Yes plz!

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AFAIK Greek MB151 did get some kills on German and Italian bombers. Most of them, affected to the defense of the Attiki (Athens region) area, were unfortunately destroyed on the ground in Luftwaffe bombing raids.

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