Bloch MB.152


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The Bloch MB-152 was a further refinement of the MB-151 single seat fighter aircraft, itself an improved version of the MB-150 that had originally been ordered in 1938. The original order for 475 MB-151s was altered to one for 144 MB-151s and 288 MB-152s.

The MB-152 had a slightly wider wingspan than the MB-151. The first 144 MB-152s used the Gnome & Rhône 14N-25, the rest the 14N-49, which provided 1,120 hp. The MB-152 with the 14N-49 engine had a top speed of 310mph at 18,000 feet, a 30 mph increase over the MB-151. This made it faster than the M.S. 406 but slower than the Dewoitine D.520, and more significantly a good 30 mph slower than the Bf 109E.

The first MB-152 flew on 15 December 1938.

The MB-152 was a disappointment in combat. Although it was a steady gun platform and could take a great deal of damage and still return to base it had several serious problems. It was too slow, and climbed too slowly. It had too short a range to be effective, especially as France had no radar system. The unheated guns were prone to freeze at altitude. The MB-152 scored 146 confirmed kills, putting it well behind the 230 claimed by the Hawk H-75, which was present in rather smaller numbers.