The Morane-Saulnier Type AN (MoS 31 to MoS 34) was a two-bay biplane that was developed late in the First World War. Its disappointing performance, combined with the end of the war, meant that the type never entered production.
The Type AN was designed to be powered by the 450hp Bugatti 16-cylinder water cooled engine. It was a two-bay equal span biplane, with slightly swept back wings. The pilot sat just under the rear of the wings, with the observer close behind in a separate cockpit. The monocoque fuselage was neatly faired and tapered back to an elegant tail, with curved vertical and horizontal surfaces. The Type AN was armed with a fixed forward firing Vickers gun and twin flexibly mounted Lewis guns. The engine required two externally mounted Lamblin radiators and as a result the aircraft looked rather ungainly.
The Type AN made its maiden flight in the autumn of 1918 and began official tests on 27 October. Results were disappointing and the Bugatti engine was seen as part of the problem. Morane-Saulnier experimented with a series of alternative engines. First was a 400hp Liberty 12 engine, which was used late in 1918. In this configuration the aircraft was designated as the Type ANL (MoS 32). Two engines were tried in 1919. The Type ANR (MoS 33) was given a 450hp Renault 12Kb engine while the Type ANS (MoS 34) used a 530hp Salmson 18Z water cooled two-row radial engine.
Some of these combinations of airframe and engine produced encouraging performance figures, but in 1919 there was little interest in developing new military aircraft and by the end of the year world on the project came to a halt. Morane-Saulnier wouldn’t design another fighter aircraft until the lightweight M.S.121 of 1927.
Engine: Bugatti water-cooled engine
Wing span: 38ft 5 4/5in
Length: 27ft 4 1/2in
Height: 9ft 1in
Loaded Weight: 3,902lb
Max Speed: 140mph
Armament: One fixed Vickers gun and two flexibly mounted Lewis guns