Bloch MB210 is a
aircraft of transition between the bombers of former conception
with high wings and fixed landing gear (Amiot 143) and those of
modern conception with retractable train and wings to cantilever
(LéO 451).The Bloch MB210 is a fully metallic aircraft designed
as a Bloch MB200, of which it is the descendant. It responds to
a formal request to obtain a night bomber that can carry out torpedo
missions if necessary.
The first prototype
made its first flight in November 1934, powered by two Gnome-Rhone
14Kdrs / grs Mistral Major of 800Cv and equipped with a fixed
train. A first order of 80 aircraft is launched by the Ministry
of Air and the first MB210 of series flies on December 12, 1935
equipped with a retractable train and motorized by GR 14 Kirs
/ jrs. Three 7.5mm machine guns in turrets ensure defense. The
second unit already incorporates a modification: the outer parts
of the wing have a larger dihedral. A second order for 181 aircraft
was issued at the end of 1936, and the manufacture was distributed,
as for the first order, to various manufacturers, such as Potez,
Hanriot, Breguet, ANF les mureaux and Renault. The following year,
the number of MB210s to be built was increased to 257 copies,
24 of which were reserved for Romania, deliveries lasted until
In service, the
MB210 quickly acquired a bad reputation following a series of
accidents due to motor overheating and it is nicknamed "Coffin
Volant". The aircraft was forbidden to fly in September 1937 until
re-powered with Gnome-Rhone 14 N-10/11 better cooled and more
At declaration of
war, 238 MB210 still equipped the Bombardment groups. Exceeded
like the MB200 or the Amiot 143, it was retired from service as
early as September 1939, but the lack of more modern aircraft
will force some units to continue to fight with these machines.
At the Armistice,
120 Bloch MB210 will be rescued in service. They will therefore
be confined to targeting roles, or as an instructional aircraft.
During the invasion of the Free Zone, the Germans will seize the
last 37 aircraft still active.
The Bloch MB 210 was therefore manufactured in only one version.
However, there may be mentioned a derivative:
MB 211 : It is identical to the prototype of the MB 210, but equipped with water-cooled Hispano Suiza 860 Cv engines. Constructed as a single copy, it will be exhibited at the Salon de l'Aeronautique in 1934. It will take off for the first time on 29 August 1935