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on Dec 26, 2019 in Aviation

Your History, Someone Else’s Memories

Morane-Saulnier MS.230
captured by D4 / 70-200f2.8

January 26, 2013, I along with my good friend Ed were blessed with a rare moment in history! We were present when this gorgeous Morane-Saulnier MS.230 was going to have its first flight after a seven-year restoration. It was a gorgeous plane and we were very fortunate to have an open grass field to operate and photography it from. The Morane-Saulnier MS.230 was the main primary trainer for the French Armée de l’Air throughout the 1930s so when WWII broke out, most of the French pilots had been trained in this unique aircraft.

The MS.230 is a parasol wing monoplane which unlike other trainers of the time, were mostly biplanes. Notice how the fuselage “hangs” from the wing which is where parasol comes from. Its metal tubular framing with fabric covering throughout, except the forward area of the fuselage, which was metal. The instructor and pupil occupied two tandem cockpits. It had a wide fixed landing gear that made it very stable in takeoff and landing but difficult flight characteristics. As a monoplane, the MS.230 was unlike other trainers of the time, which were mostly biplanes.

Morane-Saulnier MS.230
captured by D4 / 600f4 w/1.4x hand-held

In 1966, this Morane-Saulnier MS.230 was the star of an old movie classic, The Blue Max. It’s the plane George Peppard “flew” in the movie as a brash German World War I pilot. The character wanted the coveted Blue Max medal that was given for shooting down 20 enemy planes. This 1932 example is one of 1100 of the Morane-Saulnier MS.230 originally built. The winner of many awards and accolades for the restoration, sadly just before the holidays I was told by its former owner this Morane-Saulnier MS.230 no longer, gone to history now. It’s a prime example of how the photographs we take today could become history, but more importantly, are someone’s treasured memory!

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