The MB.200 was a French bomber aircraft of the 1930s designed and built by the Societé des Avions Marcel Bloch. A twin-engined high-winged monoplane with a fixed undercarriage, over 200 MB.200s were built for the French Air Force, and the type was also licence built by Czechoslovakia. However it was soon obsolete, and had largely been phased out by the start of WWII. The Bloch MB.200 was designed in response to a 1932 requirement for a new day/night bomber to equip the French Air Force. It was a high-winged all-metal cantilever monoplane, with a slab-sided fuselage, powered by two Gnome-Rhône 14K radial engines. It had a fixed tailwheel undercarriage and featured an enclosed cockpit for the pilots. Defensive machine guns were in nose and dorsal gun turrets and a under fuselage gondola.
The first of three prototypes flew on 26 June 1933. As one of the winning designs for the competition, (the other was the larger Farman F.221), an initial order for 30 MB.200s was placed on 1 January 1934, the type entering service late in that year. Further orders followed, and the MB.200 equipped 12 French squadrons by the end of 1935. Production in France totalled over 200 aircraft
See rare shots of captured German 'Beute' Blochs on this blog here
Successor to the Bloch 200, the first all-metal bomber in service with the Armée de l'Air, the Bloch 210 enjoyed an indifferent reputation, mainly as a result of its unreliable and under-powered Gnome-Rhône K-14 engines. It was nevertheless the first "modern" French bomber and was equipped with a retractable landing gear. The type saw service in some twelve bombardment groups during the campaign of May-June 1940 before more modern types arrived rather too late. Currently working on a new title devoted to this type to be published by LeLa Presse. The Bloch 210 - new from Lela Presse
A note on sources and credits
As far as possible photographs that are not mine are posted here with permission; thank you to all contributors to 'Jet & Prop', especially photographers Tad Dippel, Neil Cotten and Nico Charpentier, the editor of the magnificent 'Avions' magazine Michel Ledet and Jean-Yves Lorant, author, researcher and archivist at the Service Historique de la Défense, Paris. Images from the IWM and Roger Freeman collections are published here under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Licence. Occasionally some images on this site have been 'reposted' from facebook or ebay. They are used non-commercially in an educational context to depict historical events. If such is deemed necessary they can be removed on simple request. Contact me at falkeeins at aol.com. All rights reserved.