We are pleased to present the French MB.157 fighter, the most advanced aircraft among the Marcel-Bloch series. In addition, meet a new French pilot model in War Thunder!
The engineers of the Marcel-Bloch aviation design company envisioned a fighter equipped with the new powerful air-cooled Gnôme-Rhône 14R engine as early as 1939. Initially, the engine was intended for installation on the airframe of the MB.152 fighter, but the weight and dimensions of the engine required the fuselage to be significantly redesigned. With the beginning of MB.155 fighter mass production design works were concentrated on adapting its airframe for this highly promising engine. However, the capitulation of France and German occupation prevented the work on the MB.157 from being finished. In spite of the fact that the Dewoitine D.520 was selected as the main fighter of occupied France’s Air Force, French command expressed interest in creating a competitor to the Dewoitine. The interrupted work on the MB.157 was resumed, and soon a prototype of a new fighter with the GR.14 engine was built. In flight tests, attended by executive officers of the Luftwaffe, the MB.157 amazed observers by reaching speeds of over 700 km/h at a high altitude. German military experts decided to carefully study the finished prototypes and forced France to give the MB.157 to the Luftwaffe. It soon emerged that in spite of its impressive speed, the fighter wasn’t ready for mass production due to partial breakdowns in the turbocharger and engine, along with a low rate of climb to the heights where the MB.157 could fully unleash its potential speed.
In War Thunder, the MB.157 has lost many of the disadvantages related to the reliability of its engine, and its advantages can be fully appreciated. In the game, the MB.157 is at the peak of the Marcel-Bloch single-engine fighter range. It inherited the characteristic fuselage spine fairing and the recognizable tail fin shape from the series, but has an entirely new increased-size wing. The MB.157 can reach its highest speeds, above 700 km/h, at altitudes of over 7000 meters, but even at medium altitudes the fighter is significantly faster than all its predecessors. The fighter’s armament includes two Hispano cannons, but it has no bombs or rockets – an interceptor needs no assault armament.