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Morane Sauliner

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Morane-Saulier type L
Roland Garros gave this aeroplane fame in that he flew the first MS type L with a Hotchkiss machine gun and interrupter gear. He managed to shoot down one opponent before he himself was forced to land in enemy territory. The brilliant French solution of the interrupter gear was of course copied and improved by the Germans and applied on the better known Fokker E III.

Morane Sulnier type L was designed in 1914, intended for surveillance and artillery observation. The placing of the wings in a parasol manner gave both the pilot and the observer an excellent downward view of the happenings below. For the benefit of forward and upward vision a sizeable cutout in the center wing panel was made. Also for the flying school this was and excellent plane with inherent lateral stability and ease of control.

The engine, a French Clerget rotary engine or 60 hp, gave adequate speed and a generous wing surface satisfactory lift. Both the vertical and horizontal quidance was by all moving stabilator and rudder and the fuselage gave horizontal stability.

Lateral control was by wing warping. The front wing spar is fixed by 6 upper-, landing wires and 6 lower-flying wires. The rear spar is controlled by wires running through a pulley in the topp wire support pylon. The actuator in coupled to the control column by wires. Hence by moving the control column the wires are activated.

The landing gear is tubular steel and the wheel shaft is supported with bungee rubbers. Note that the forward attachment poit of the landing gear struts varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. We have chosen the original Frenc type for our model.

Pictured is the aeroplane number 274, that possibly belonged to the same group as shown in the photo opposite below.

There is no more documentation available than a principle sketch, or the installation of the Hotchkiss machine gun and the innovative interrupter gear.

The German company Pfalz Flugzeug Bau in Steyer, Germany, bought the license for manufacturing and pictures on this page reveal the German thoroughness, displaying the fuselage construction in detail and a top view that gives the wing and tailplane outline.

Caption on the back of the photograph: "Aircraft readied for land transport. Wings will be stored along the fuselage."

The German model was photographed in 1916..

Also in Sweden this model was built under license, designated Thulin type D. The Swedish model was improved with streamlining of the engine cowl- fuselage and fitted with a 95 hp Thulin A rotary engine.

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