Morane-Saulnier type G

French aviators Léon Morane and Raymond Saulnier formed the Sociéte Anonyme des Aéroplanes Morane-Saulnier in October 1911 and produced a varied group of monoplanes during 1911 and 1912. The Societe Anonyme dAeroplanes Morane-Saulnier first showed its aircraft at the Salon Aeronautique in Paris in 1911. With the famous French airman Roland Garos as its test pilot, the company received a lot of interest in the products it displayed. Among the most important was the monoplane flown by Roland Garros from Tunis to Marsala, Sicily, on December 18, 1912. The original type G was developed into the type L from August 1913 on.

The wire-braced shoulder-wing monoplane for one pilot and one passenger was developed from older Morane-Saulnier monoplanes in 1912. The type was manufactured under licence by Grahame-White in Hendon in the South of England. It was mostly flown by French and British pilots in the pre-war period. The aeroplanes had a fully covered fuselage and were equipped with a Gnome rotary engine with 80 HP that was the high-end engine of that time period. The French ministry of war issued an order of 94 aeroplanes of the type Morane-Saulnier G but it soon became clear that they were not suitable for military employment. The remaining aeroplanes were then used for the training of pilots.

The Morane-Saulnier monoplane is controlled in very much the same way as the Bleriot, and behaves in the same manner, with one or two interesting exceptions. The Morane-Saulnier does not take on a natural bank in turning; and it is necessary to steer and to warp the wings at the same time, otherwise the movements of the rudder will take very little effect. The Morane-Saulnier has what is known as a non-lifting tail, the Blenot has a lifting tail. The former, as a consequence, is much more sensitive to elevator control, and is rather more difficult to land, apart altogether from the respective merits of the different landing carriages.

It is easy to land with the Bleriot, bringing the tail down at the finish so that the wings act as an airbrake and the back skid touches earth in a fraction of time before the wheels. This further helps braking, and the machine can be stopped in an extremely small space. It is more difficult, though quite possible, to do this with the Morane-Saulnier. Taking the two-seaters, the Morane-Saulnier of 1913 was more delicate of control than the Bleriot of the same period, the passenger being seated close behind the pilot; whereas in the Bleriot the passenger was seated two or three feet behind him, the effect of his weight upon the attitude of the machine being marked. From this point of view, at any rate, the Morane-Saulnier had an advantage. In later Blenots passenger and pilot were closer together.

The version Morane-Saulnier type WR that was built for the Russian government comprised a peculiar "glass-house front part" on the sides of the front fuselage closely in front of the wing assembly. Another model from 1915 also with the designation type G was configured as a single-seated fighter and was powered by a Le-Rhone rotary engine with 80 HP (59 kW).

The aircraft was built only in a few numbers for the French air force and was equipped with a fixed Hotchkiss 8 mm machine gun and a deflector means. In spite of its promising features it was never put into service. The French aircraft manufacturer Raymond Saulnier had begun his work on a machine gun firing in synchronization through the propeller arc form the beginning of 1914 on.

In order to deflect stray bullets due to failing ammunition Saulnier equipped the propeller blades with bullets deflectors made out of sheet-steel. The method, however, fell soon into oblivion again. Only after the outbreak of war it was again used in a Morane-Saulnier type L under the pilot Roland Garros. The simple principle used by Morane-Saulnier was then further developed into the interrupter gear in the Fokker-monoplane. The original type G was developed into the type L from August 1913 on.

Technical data

Morane-Saulnier type G

Type two-seated monoplane
Power plant Gnome rotary engine with 80 HP (59 kW)
Year of construction 1912


Maximum speed 135 km/h


Span 9.63 m
Crew 2 persons

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