Flight, December 1926
The Paris Aero Show 1926
ALMOST the only machine in the exhibition concerning which it was found difficult to obtain any detailed information was the large three-engined monoplane flying-boat exhibited by Marcel Besson.
The machine has a very large flying-boat hull of rather pleasing lines, but the single step and straight Vee bottom is scarcely in keeping with the most modern British ideas on the subject of flying-boat design.
A placard on the stand announced that this machine, the type M.B.36, with three Gnome-Rhone-Jupiter engines, has an area of 130 sq. m. (1,400 sq. ft.). The weight empty, but equipped, is given as 5,150 kg. (11,330 lbs.). The load carried is 2,850 kg. (6,275 lbs.), giving a total loaded weight of 8,000 kg. (17,600 lbs.). The commercial load is given as 1,350 kg. (3,000 lbs.) and the machine is said to have a range of 900 km. (560 miles). A top speed of 180 km./h. (112 m.p.h.) is claimed. The machine has accommodation for 14 passengers and there are two large luggage compartments.
The M.B.36 was exhibited with its wing uncovered, so that a certain amount of detail could be seen, although for some reason or other those in charge of the stand refused to have anything on the machine sketched in detail. The wing structure did not impress one as being any too strong. Altogether the wing structure gave one the impression that it had originally been intended to build it in metal, but that at the last moment it became necessary to rush through a wooden wing. The mountings of the three Jupiter engines were in the form of very small girders of small diameter steel tubing, cross braced with piano wire and placed inside the wings. These mountings looked far from substantial, and it seems fairly certain that they will have to be re-designed before the machine becomes a practical proposition. With a slightly improved wing structure there does not, however, appear to be any reason why the M.B.36 should not be turned into quite a useful commercial seaplane.