Dassault MD 315 Flamant

The Dassault MD 315 Flamant is a French light twin-engined transport airplane built shortly after World War II by Dassault Aviation for the French Air Force.

Dassault MD 315 Flamant
Class Aircraft
Type Transport
Manufacturer Dassault Aviation
Origin France
Country Name Origin Year
France 1947
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Cameroon View
France 1948 1981 View
Cambodia View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Dassault Aviation 321 View
Design work on a twin-engined light transport started in 1946 with the MD 303, a development of an earlier project for an eight-seat communications aircraft the Marcel Bloch MB-30. The prototype MD 303 first flew on 26 February 1947 powered by two Béarn 6D engines, designed to meet a French Air Force requirement for a colonial communications aircraft. A re-engined version was ordered into production at the new Dassault factory at Bordeaux-Mérignac. The production aircraft was a low-wing monoplane with twin tail surfaces and a tri-cycle undercarriage and powered by two Renault 12S piston engines.

Three main versions of the aircraft now named Flamant (means Flamingo in French) were produced. The MD 315 10-seat colonial communication aircraft (first flown on 6 July 1947), the MD 312 six-seat transport aircraft (first flew on 27 April 1950), and the MD 311 navigation trainer (first flew on 23 March 1948. The MD 311 had a distinctive glazed nose for its role as both a bombing and navigation trainer.


  • MB 30-1 : Original proposals for a bombing and navigation trainer.
  • MB 30-2 : Original proposals fora medical and colonial roles.
  • MB 30-3 : Original proposals for a liaison and training aircraft.
  • MD 303 : Prototype, one built, powered by two 310 kW (410 hp) Béarn 6D engines.
  • MD 311 : Bombing, navigation and photography training aircraft, 39 built, powered by two 310 kW (410 hp) SNECMA 12S engines.
  • MD 312 : Six-seat transport and communications aircraft, 142 built, powered by two 310 kW (410 hp) SNECMA 12S engines.
  • MD 312B : Experimental version with heavier loaded weight, one built, powered by two 310 kW (410 hp) SNECMA 12S engines. Used later for Mirage IV radar development.
  • MD 315 : 10-seat utility transport aircraft, 137 built, powered by two 310 kW (410 hp) SNECMA 12S engines.
  • MD 316T : One prototype fitted with a single-finned tail, and two 600 kW (800 hp) Wright R-1300-CB7A1 Cyclone radial piston engines.
  • MD 316X : One MD 315 aircraft fitted with two 610 kW (820 hp) SNECMA 14X Super Mars radial piston engines. 

The first Flamant was delivered to the French Air Force in 1949 and deliveries of all versions was completed by 1953

The aircraft was used for pilot training, navigation training, light transport, maritime surveillance and light ground attack. During the Algerian War of Independence the plane was used for light attack with the Nord SS.11 and AS.11 antitank missiles or with machine guns, bombs, and rockets. The Flamant MD 311 (which were based in Algeria to train pilots and navigators at first) was the first aircraft in history to fire one of the world's first wire guided antitank missile in anger, using French Army SS.11 antitank missiles, in a combat experiment to get at fortified caves located in deep mountain gorges, 1956 from an aircraft based with the special unit of the French Air Force in Algeria, GOM.86. The SS.11 attacks proved extremely successful and the French Army which had provided the missiles, began an experiment which resulted in the world's first attack helicopters firing antitank missiles. The Flamant stayed in service until 1981. In addition to the French air force, the Flamant served in Cambodia, Madagascar, Tunisia, and Vietnam.

Role Military transport aircraft
Manufacturer Dassault Aviation
First flight 6 July 1947 (MD.315)
Introduction 1948
Retired 1981
Primary users French Air Force
Vietnam Air Force
Tunisian Air Force
Cambodian Air Force

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 10 passengers
  • Length: 12.50 m (41 ft 0 in)
  • Wingspan: 20.68 m (67 ft 10 in)
  • Height: 4.50 m (14 ft 9 in)
  • Wing area: 47.2 m (508 ft)
  • Empty weight: 4250 kg (9,370 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 5,790 kg (12,760 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 5800 kg (12,787 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 x Renault 12S 02-201 inline piston, 433 kW (580 hp) each


  • Maximum speed: 300 km/h (160 knots, 190 mph)
  • Range: 1,215 km (656 nm, 755 km)
  • Service ceiling 8,000 m (26,000 ft)
  • Power/mass: 147 W/kg (0.0897 hp/lb)

End notes