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Today in History




 
 
A "parasol" monoplane, the Morane Saulnier Type L was a fragile two-seat reconnaissance aircraft. It was the first aircraft armed with a fixed machine gun that fired through the propellor arc. Bullets which struck the propellor were deflected by steel plates. Armed with a Hotchkiss machine gun firing 8 mm solid copper bullets, Roland Garros tested the design in April 1915. He scored three victories in three weeks before the plane was captured by the Germans.

On 7 June 1915, flying a Morane Saulnier Type L (3253), Sub-Lieutenant R A J Warneford attacked and destroyed a German Zeppelin (LZ37) over Ghent, Belgium. For this action Warneford received the Victoria Cross.
 
Units
French Air Service: MS12
Imperial Russian Air Service:
Royal Flying Corps: 1, 3
Royal Naval Air Service: 1W, 2W
 
Morane-Saulnier L Specifications
Country: France
Manufacturer: Société des Aéroplanes Morane-Saulnier
Type: Fighter Reconnaissance
First Introduced: 1913
Number Built: 600
Engine(s): Gnôme, rotary, 80 hp
Wing Span: 36 ft 9 in (11.2 m)
Length: 22 ft 6¾ in (6.88 m)
Height: 12 ft 10½ in (3.93 m)
Empty Weight: 847 lb (385 kg)
Gross Weight: 1,441 lb (655 kg)
Max Speed: 71.5 mph (115 km/h)
Ceiling: 13,123 ft (4000 m)
Endurance: 2½ hours
Crew: 1 or 2
Armament: 1 machine gun
 
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