Replica Of Historic Type L On Display, Plans Available
By Paul Plack
Daher-Socata celebrated its historic 100th anniversary with
several notable exhibits at EAA AirVenture 2011. The company known
today as Daher-Socata is descended from the Aeroplane
Morane-Saulnier company, founded in 1911. Part of the celebration
is the presentation of a replica of the Morane-Saulnier Type L, an
iconic design representative of those early years.
Moraine-Salnier Type L
The 1913 type began with the modification of a standard
production two-seater with wings mounted above the fuselage, to
offer better visibility for the pilot and passengers. The high-wing
monoplane was soon nicknamed "Morane-parasol," a term which became
almost a generic name for high wing design.
When World War One started, the Type L
was built in large numbers - more than 60 - for reconnaissance
duty, and was flown by French, British and Russian forces, and also
under license by Pitfall Flugzeugwerke in Germany and Thulin in
Morane-Saulnier Type H Airmail
As one of fastest aircraft used by Allied forces, Type L became
one of the first dedicated fighter aircraft in the spring of 1915.
French aces including Georges Guynemer, Eugène Gilbert, and
Jean Navarre scored their first victories with their observer
firing from the rear seat. Then Roland Garros experimented on a
Type L using a machine gun firing through the propeller system
using a blade-mounted deflector developed by Raymond Saulnier. He
scored the first kill involving a tractor propeller airplane in
April of 1915.
A few months later, British Flight Lieutenant Warneford of the
Royal Navy, was the first to shoot down a Zeppelin, the LZ37. By
1916, the Type L was replaced in front line service, but continued
in service as a trainer.
After the war Morane-Saulnier developed a family of "Parasol"
training aircraft. More than 5,000 Morane-Saulnier "parasols" of
various types were then produced between 1914 and 1935.
The full-scale replica on display at the Daher-Socata exhibit
has been built by Richard Baslee from Holden, Missouri. Plans and
kits are available for builders through Airdrome Aeroplanes.
Morane-Saulnier Type L Specifications:
Powerplant: Le Rhône 9C 9-cylinder rotary engine, 80
Length: 6.88 m
Wingspan: 11.20 m
Wing area: 18.3 m² (197 sq ft)
Empty weight: 393 kg (865 lb)
Maximum speed: 125 km/h (68 knots, 78 mph) at sea level