Morane-Saulnier Type BB and Type BH

The Morane-Saulnier Type BB and Type BH were almost identical biplane reconnaissance aircraft that were produced for the RFC during 1915. The Type BB was developed in response to a 1915 order from the RFC. It was a two-seat equal span biplane, with the pilot and observer in closely groups cockpits just behind the upper wing.

The RFC ordered 150 aircraft, all of which were to be powered by an 110hp Le Rhône rotary. This engine was in short supply and production was limited, so most of the 94 aircraft received by the RFC were actually powered by an 80hp Le Rhône rotary engine.

Morane-Saulnier produced the aircraft in two very similar versions. The Type BB had a normal propeller, while the Type BH had a large conical propeller spinner fitted (similar to the one used on the Morane-Saulnier Type N).

Only a handful of 110hp aircraft were delivered, most without the spinner. These 110hp Type BBs were used by Nos.1 and 3 Squadrons of the RFC, where they were described as the Morane Biplane.

The majority of Type BHs were powered by the 80hp engine. These were used by No.60 Squadron, RFC and No.4 Squadron, RNAS, both based in northern France. No.60 Squadron sometimes added an extra fixed forward firing Lewis gun mounted above the top wing and thus firing over the propeller disc, and used these aircraft as fighters.

Engine: Le Rhône rotary
Power: 110hp
Crew: 2
Wing span: 28ft 4 1/2in
Maxiumum Take-off Weight: 1,653lb
Max Speed: 91mph
Armament: Flexibly mounted 7.7mm Lewis gun

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (6 November 2014), Morane-Saulnier Type BB and Type BH , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_morane_saulnier_Type_BB_BH.html

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