The Morane-Saulnier M.S.1500 Epervier (Sparrowhawk) was designed in response to a requirement for a counter-insurgency aircraft for use in Algeria. Morane-Saulnier responded with a very unusual looking aircraft. The basic configuration was simple - a single engined low-winged monoplane with a fixed undercarriage, but the details looked odd.
The aircraft was powered by a 700hp Turbomeca Bastan IV turboprop. This was a tiny engine and so the aircraft had a thin pointed nose. The two-man crew sat in tandem in a bulbous glazed cockpit which looked even larger behind the tiny engine. Finally the landing gear was carried in very thin long struts, so the entire aircraft looked spindly.
The M.S.1500 could carry six weapons under its wings - either six 110lb anti-personnel bombs or six rocket pods, each carrying 42 2.75in rockets or 216 smaller rockets. The first prototype made its maiden flight on 12 May 1958. It was followed by a second prototype, but no production order was placed.
Engine: Turboméca Bastan IV turboprop
Wing span: 42ft 10 1/4in
Length: 34ft 9in
Height: 10ft 10in
Empty Weight: 3,307lb
Maximum Take-off Weight: 6,283lb
Max Speed: 196mph
Range: 808 miles
Bomb-load: Under-wing armament - either six 110lb anti-personnel bombs or six rocket pods with forty-two 2.75in rockets or 216 smaller rockets