G-MOSA Morane-Saulnier M.S. 317
Owner and restorer Tony Whitehead
- M.S. 315/317
M.S.315 is a primary training monoplane built in France by
Morane-Saulnier, it was used by the French Armée de l'air and
Aéronavale. It first flew in 1932. The production run reached 346
aircraft including 33 built after the Second World War.
parasol-winged tailwheel aircraft has a wooden wire-braced fuselage
with aluminium bulkheads and some tubular aluminium bracing in the
cockpits. It is fabric covered and has aluminium coamings and
wings feature aluminium spars with wooden ribs. The engine originally
used was a Salmson 135HP radial engine.
the 1960s forty M.S.315 were returned to the Morane-Saulnier factory
and modified with a 220HP Continental radial engine and were
re-designated as M.S.317. They were used for glider towing and
primary training at flying schools in France.
was built in 1952 and originally registered F-BCNU, serving in flight
training schools in France. By the late 1980s she was showing signs
of a hard life, taken out of service and was put in storage, falling
into a state of disrepair. She was exported to America but no
restoration work was undertaken. Subsequently advertised for sale in
2009, the neglected remains were bought and shipped to the UK for
restoration by Tony Whitehead.
total rebuild was required. All of the plywood in the airframe was
replaced and new ribs were built and fitted in the wings. The
fuselage joints were re-glued. Every nut and bolt in the aircraft was
removed, checked, replaced as required and all the bracing wires were
removed, checked, painted and refitted. The fabric was replaced and
the engine overhauled. An Aéronavale paint scheme was approved by
the First Sea Lord of the French Navy. The LAA oversaw the
restoration with local inspector Nigel Jones monitoring the work.
The work was done in its entirety by Tony Whitehead working alone and despite doubting admirers, completion only took four years. On 25th July 2013, G-MOSA took to the air again with Nigel Jones in the pilot's seat for the test flight. Some minor rigging tweaks were carried out and G-MOSA then successfully completed her test flying within a few weeks.
Weight max. AUW -
Engine Continental - 220HP