Insights

They might not have outweighed its drawbacks, but the Morane had its good points

A late peacetime appearance by three Dijon-based GC I/3 MS406C-1s during the July 1939 display at Brussels-Evere.
KEY COLLECTION
An unidentified Ilmavoimat MS406 making a low pass. The Finnish pilots got the most out of the Morane.
SA-KUVA

As previously mentioned, the MS406 was blessed with pleasant handling characteristics, being in possession of excellent manoeuvrability and no serious vices. However, it was quickly shown to be inferior in combat to its main rival, the Messerschmitt Bf 109E. The MS406 was seriously underpowered, and at anything approaching its alleged top speed the fighter’s ethyleneglycol radiator had to be retracted, whereupon the engine rapidly overheated. The undercarriage ‘pop-out’ problem could prove fatal when engaging the enemy, as could the freezing of the wing gun firing mechanism and the propeller pitch actuation gear.

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