|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / France / Bloch|
Representing the last of the fighter aircraft to be evolved from the M.B.150, which had declined to become airborne in 1936, the Bloch M.B.157 resulted from an attempt to unite the airframe of the M.B.152 with a new and far more powerful Gnome-Rhone 14R, an air-cooled radial engine similar to those which powered the earlier Bloch fighters, but with a power output of 1186kW for take-off, and having a supercharger that could provide a rating of 1268kW at 8000m.
Such power suggested exciting possibilities for a high-altitude interceptor, but the increased size and weight of this engine brought realisation that it would not be practical to install it in the existing M.B.152 airframe. The conclusion that the full potential of the Gnome-Rhone 14R would be lost by attempting an adaptation of the airframe led to a decision to design a new fighter which would retain the same basic structural techniques.
Having postulated such a design philosophy, it was possible to formulate the details of the M.B.157 very rapidly, for the basic design already existed. The result of this was that within just over six months of design initiation, the components of the prototype were ready for assembly but, once again, it was too late for France. With German forces closing in on Paris, the M.B.157 components were loaded to be taken to a place of security but, en route, this vehicle was intercepted by the Germans and ordered to proceed to an SNCASO establishment within the occupied zone.
Finally, in 1942, the M.B.157 was assembled and test flown under German supervision, demonstrating superb performance before being flown to Orly where the powerplant was removed for wind-tunnel testing. This was the most interesting feature so far as the Germans were concerned, and after tests had been completed the engine was transported to Germany. SNCASO's air-frame, which had demonstrated in conjunction with Gnome-Rhone 14R a degree of performance that was not to be attained elsewhere until later in the war, was destroyed during an Allied air raid.
Scott K Rice, e-mail, 18.07.2020 Olivier
According to what I have read the big problem with the French defense industry before the war was simple. There was no shortage of great designs, no shortage of great engineers. It was industrial problems caused by the unions which were controlled by the communist party, they were constantly on strike. If not for constant labor unrest France wouldn't have been so easy to defeat!
Alain, e-mail, 07.09.2020 Glenn
Glenn : you seem to forget who paid the bills [loaned money] for Adolf rise to power and his gigantic military industrial complex. Of all US major banks, the only one not implied was Goldman-Sachs, but the Brits compensated thru the Bank of England. All US major corps were implied, even doing transfers of technology, e.g. Boeing and Douglas Aircraft. Opel belonged to General Motors, IBM provided the calculators making the logistics of the final solution possible as well as helping to conceive weapons like the V1 and V2 faster, even Ford, the MGM, Coca-Cola and Disney were implied...