The Morane Saulnier Type AI

By Chris Banyai-Riepl

Morane Saulnier seemed to be infatuated with parasol fighters from early on. As a result of this focus they made many different designs, with one of the more attractive ones being the A-I. Not only was this an attractive fighter, but it was an effective one as well, finding its way into service well after the end of the First World War.

MoS.29.C 1
Sgt. Rufus R. Rand, Jr.
Escadrille MSP 158
March/April 1918

One of the first MoS AI squadrons was MSP 158 and they were quick to add their unique unit emblem to the fuselage sides. Standard five-color French camouflage was used consisting of dark brown (Methuen 5E3), dark green (3F6), light green (3C5), beige (4C4) and pale yellow (4C3). For accurate out-of-the-bottle paint matches, check the French Colors section of the World War One Modeling website.

MoS.27.C 1
Sgt. Walter J Shaffer
Escadrille MSP 156

The standard 5-color French camouflage is offset by the striking Escadrille MSP 156 badge consisting of two swallows on an orange-yellow trapezoid. Shaffer's personal number '11' was painted in red on the rear fuselage.

MoS.30.E 1
Swiss Air Force

The Swiss Air Force received a single MoS AI for evaluations but it was never adopted as a main fighter of the Swiss Fliegertruppe. Swiss roundels were painted over the existing French ones and the rudder was painted over, hiding the serial number. No other markings were applied.

MoS.30.E 1
9e Escadrille
Belgian Air Force

This is one of three MoS AIs supplied to the Belgian Air Force in 1918. The Morane Saulnier logo was moved from the cowling to the rudder and the thistle marking of the 9e Escadrille was applied. No lower wing roundels were carried.

MoS.30.E 1
White 21
Polish Air Force

Poland flew many French planes in the early 1920s as it built up its fledgling air force. This MoS AI was painted in overall olive drab, with the Polish national insignia in six positions. A white '21' on the fuselage was the only identifying mark carried.

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