The Morane-Saulnier Type G was a pre-First World War two-seat sports plane that achieved numerous successes, but that provided to be an ineffective military aircraft.
The Type G was the first commercially successful Morane-Saulnier design. The Morane-Saulnier company had been formed in 1911, and its first design was the Type A, a shoulder-winged monoplane with wing warping controls, a fabric cover for the front of the fuselage and an open framework at the back.
This became the basis of a series of later designs, including the two-seat Type G and the slightly smaller one-seat Type H. The Type G was a shoulder-winged monoplane with wing warping control and a slab sided fuselage, all of which was fabric covered. It had a wooden framework with steel undercarriage legs and wire bracing. The crew of two sat in tandem on a single long bench in the open cockpit. The standard wartime version used an 80hp Gnome rotary engine, but other power-plants were also used.
The design of the Type G was in place by 1912. It was displayed at the 1913 Paris Salon (alongside the Type H and the parasol Type L), and was a popular aircraft amongst pre-war aviators. Amongst many successes were a second place in the first Schneider Cup of April 1913 and the Grand Prize in the general class at the Italian Waterplane Contest at Lane Como later in the same year, both with Roland Garros and the controls. The Type G was also used by Claude Grahame-White for a 310 mile flight from London to Paris in June 1913. Grahame-White then went on to build the aircraft under licence at Hendon.
Before the First World War the Russians purchased a licence to build the type, and the Turks ordered 40 aircraft. These were taken over at the outbreak of war, and another order for 94 aircraft was placed. The British RFC also purchased some of the Graham-White aircraft.
The Type G turned out to be of limited military use, and most of the British and French machines were used as training aircraft.
A number of variants were built. One aircraft was given a parasol wing, but the Type L was preferred. The Type WR, with a glasshouse on the side of the fuselage in front of the wing, was built for the Russians.
The Type G also led onto the Type N, which was a single-seater with a faired fuselage (using formers and stringers to create a framework for the fabric cover).
In 1915 another Type G appeared, this time a single seat fighter with a faired fuselage that may have been based on the original type. A handful of these aircraft were built and it never entered production.
Engine: Gnome rotary
Wing span: 31ft 7 1/4in
Max Speed: 84mph