Morane-Saulnier MS.760 Paris

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MS.760 Paris
Morane-Saulnier MS.760 Paris (MG 9734b).jpg
A MS.760 on the ramp of the Dryden Regional Airport (CYHD)
RoleTrainer aircraft
National originFrance
ManufacturerMorane-Saulnier
First flight29 July 1954
Introduction9 February 1959
Retired1997 (France), 2007 (Argentina)
Primary usersFrench Navy
French Air Force
Argentine Air Force
Number built165
Developed fromMorane-Saulnier MS.755 Fleuret
 
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MS.760 Paris
Morane-Saulnier MS.760 Paris (MG 9734b).jpg
A MS.760 on the ramp of the Dryden Regional Airport (CYHD)
RoleTrainer aircraft
National originFrance
ManufacturerMorane-Saulnier
First flight29 July 1954
Introduction9 February 1959
Retired1997 (France), 2007 (Argentina)
Primary usersFrench Navy
French Air Force
Argentine Air Force
Number built165
Developed fromMorane-Saulnier MS.755 Fleuret

The Morane-Saulnier MS.760 Paris is a French four- (or six)-seat jet trainer and liaison aircraft built by Morane-Saulnier. Based on the earlier side-by-side seating two-seat trainer, but adding another row of two seats, the MS.755 Fleuret, the Paris was used by the French military between 1959 and 1997. In 1955, a short-lived venture with Beech Aircraft to market the Paris as an Executive Business Jet in the US market[1] was soon eclipsed by Learjet’s Model 23. While four seat propeller planes are common, jet-powered planes with this seating arrangement such as the Grumman EA-6B Prowler are comparatively rare.

Design and development[edit]

In the early 1950s the French Air Force needed an ab-initio jet trainer; Morane-Saulnier proposed the MS.755 Fleuret, but the competition was won by the Fouga Magister. The company re-designed the MS.755 as a four-seat liaison aircraft which they called the MS.760 Paris.

On 29 July 1954 the prototype MS.760, registered F-WGVO (F-BGVO), took off on its maiden flight. With its T-shaped vertical stabilizer, low wing, and two Turbomeca Marboré II 400 kg turbines internally mounted side-by-side in the aft fuselage, the Paris offered a platform characterized by inherent stability. The aircraft had four seats, two in the front and two in the back, and a retractable tricycle landing gear.

The French military ordered 50 aircraft for liaison duties, for both the French Air Force (36) and Navy (14). The first production aircraft flew on 27 February 1958.

In 1961, production plants started rolling out the MS.760B Paris II, fitted with two Marboré VI 480 kg engines, wingtip fuel tanks, air conditioning, and a bigger luggage compartment. On 24 February 1964, a six-passenger version, designated MS.760C Paris III, made its first flight, but there was no production of this variant. Production of the Paris II ceased, and production of the Paris III never started. Some 153 aircraft (Paris I and Paris II) were produced for the French Air Force (36 planes) and Navy (14 planes), and the air forces of Argentina, and Brazil. Construction nr. (serial numbers) 109 and 110 were never built.

Operational history[edit]

The sole MS.760C Paris III six-seat aircraft at the Paris Air Show in June 1967

On 18 July 1956 the French government requisitioned 50 aircraft, including 14 for the Navy, from Tarbes-based manufacturer Morane-Saulnier. The first plane was delivered on 9 February 1959 to Naval Air Station (N.A.S.) Dugny-Le Bourget, before going to the C.E.P.A. (directly translated as Aeronautical Practical Experiment Center - in English this would probably be "Flight Test Centre") in 1959-60, for the flight tests necessary to develop training programs and materials. The type was also purchased by several countries such as Brazil and Argentina; 36 planes were license-built by Fabrica Militar de Aviones (FMA) in Argentina. The MS.760B Paris II, with various systems improvements and integral fuel tanks in the leading edges of the wing, first flew on 12 December 1960.

One of the best known private users of MS 760 was Italian oil Tycoon Enrico Mattei, nationalized ENI famous for fighting the then all-powerful Anglo _ American oil companies oligopoly (dubbed the seven sisters) He died in the crash of his MS 760 company Jet in October 1962.

Recent scientific enquiries proved Mattei's aircraft was sabbotaged, most probably with an explosive triggered by the landing gear doortrap.

The period 70's movie "il caso Mattei" hinted at sabotage but the Italian judiciary enquiry in the early 90's helped confirm the sabbotage though it couldn't find the culprits.

From 1958 to the early '60s an MS 760 was used as a flying classroom at the "Colledge of Aeronautics" Cranfield UK. The aircraft was equipped to study stability and control together with performance as part of the MSc course.

The 14 MS.760 were assigned to Flight 11.S from 9 February 1959 onwards. The last plane, No. 88, was delivered on 27 July 1961. In 1965, MS.760 No. 48 was briefly assigned to Flight 3.S based at N.A.S Hyères. From 1970 onwards, all the 12 remaining MS.760s were assigned to Flight 2.S based at N.A.S. Lann-Bihoué. In May 1972 they were sent to the S.R.L. On 1 September 1981 this unit became Flight 57.S (this flight had been shut down at the closing of N.A.S. Port-Lyautey, Morocco on 15 January 1962).

Their missions were Super Étendard and F-8 Crusader pilot IFR and all-weather training, advanced training for new pilots, proficiency training for other pilots and A.L.P.A. (admirals commanding the carriers and Naval Aviation), and 1st and 2nd Aerial Regions liaisons. Eight MS.760 Paris were on the unit's flightline. After 40 years of service, the aircraft were retired in October 1997 at Landivisiau Naval Air Station.

Argentine Air Force MS.760s were used in combat to suppress the 1963 Argentine Navy Revolt, bombing a rebel-held radio station as well as the Punta Indio naval airfield, destroying several aircraft on the ground.[2] In 2007, after 48 years of continuous service, the Argentine Air Force retired their last Paris.[3]

In 2009, JetSet International Ltd purchased more than 30 MS760s from the French and Argentinian governments, and the type certificate, tooling, parts, engineering plans and drawings[4] from Daher SOCATA. They are refurbishing the airframes and installing new jet engines and avionics and selling them for approximately $550,000.[5] A two-ship aerial demonstration team called Team MS760 Aerobatics using the refurbished aircraft was formed in 2009.[6]

An updated MS.760 marketed for personal use

Operators[edit]

MS.760 Paris E-219 at Mendoza, Argentina
 Argentina
 Brazil
 France

Survivors[edit]

Specifications (MS.760 Paris I)[edit]

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1961–62[7]

General characteristics

Performance

Armament

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ [1] General Aviation October 2010
  2. ^ Cooper, Thomas. "Argentina, 1955-1965". ACIG.org. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  3. ^ [2][dead link][dead link]
  4. ^ [3] Wings Magazine
  5. ^ [4] AOPA Online
  6. ^ [5] Team MS760.com
  7. ^ Taylor 1961, p. 60.
Bibliography