Bloch MB.170/174/175

The Bloch MB.170 and its derivatives were French reconnaissance bombers designed and built shortly before the Second World War.

They were the best aircraft of this type available to the Armée de l’Air at the outbreak of the war, with speed, altitude and manoeuvrability that allowed them to evade interception by the German fighters.

Although the aircraft could have been in service by 1937, debate over what role to give the aircraft delayed deliveries until 1940.

Too few in number to affect the Battle of France, they continued in service with the Vichy forces after the armistice.

Variants

MB.170

MB.170.01 

The first prototype, equipped as reconnaissance aircraft, powered by Gnome-Rhône 14N-06 engines.

MB.170.02 

The second prototype, equipped as light bomber, powered by Gnome-Rhône 14N-06 engines.

MB.171

MB.172

MB.173

MB.174

MB.174.01 

The original MB.174 prototype, powered by Gnome-Rhône 14N-49 engines.

MB.174A.3 

Original production version, powered by Gnome-Rhône 14N-49 engines.

MB.175

MB.175.01 

The original MB.175 prototype, powered by Gnome-Rhône 14N-48 engines.

MB.175B.3 

Second production version, plus 56 unarmed aircraft for the Luftwaffe, powered by Gnome-Rhône 14N-48 engines.

MB.175T 

Post-war torpedo bomber version for the Aeronavale.

MB.176 / MB.176.01 

The original MB.176 prototype, powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-1830 SC 3-G Twin Wasp engines

MB.176B.3 

Production version. 

MB.177 

Single prototype, powered by two Hispano-Suiza 12Y-31 inline engines.

MB.178 

Further development, construction halted by arrival of German forces.

Specifications

Crew

3

Length

12.23 m (40 ft 1 in)

Wingspan

17.92 m (58 ft 10 in)

Height

3.55 m (11 ft 8 in)

Wing area

38 m2 (410 sq ft)

Empty weight

5,612 kg (12,372 lb)

Gross weight

7,175 kg (15,818 lb)

Powerplant

2 × Gnome-Rhône 14N 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine,

772 kW (1,035 hp) each

Propellers

3-bladed variable-pitch propellers

Performance

Maximum speed

530 km/h (330 mph, 290 kn) at 5,200 m (17,060 ft)

Cruise speed

460 km/h (290 mph, 250 kn) at 4,000 m (13,120 ft)

Range

1,650 km (1,030 mi, 890 nmi)

Service ceiling

11,000 m (36,000 ft)

Time to altitude

8,000 m (26,250 ft) in 11 minutes

Armament

Guns

2 × fixed, forward firing 7.5 mm (.295 in) MAC 1934 machine guns in the wings

2 × 7.5 mm MAC 1934s in the dorsal position

3 × 7.5 mm MAC 1934s on aft-firing mounts

Bombs

400 kg (880 lb) of bombs, usually 8 x 50 kg (110 lb) or 16 x 22 kg (48.5 lb) bombs internally plus 6 x 22 kg bombs or flares under wing

(As an alternative, 175 illumination bombs carried internally plus 6 x 22 kg bombs or flares under wing for night time photographic missions).

 

 

 

 

 

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