ACE-18 Morane-Saulnier Type N, Escadrile MS.12, MS 394, 1915
April 1915, a German 2 seater plane fell in flames before the guns of French Ace Roland Garros?s monoplane. This was the beginning of a new technique in aerial warfare. It was achieved by firing a machine gun between the blades of a spinning propellor. Although crude it was successful mainly due to small steel plates attached to the propellor blades. The bullets which did not pass between the blades were deflected by the plates without harming the propellor. A new degree of accuracy was made possible by aiming the entire airplane at the target.
The Morane-Saulnier N was one of the few operational monoplanes of WW1. It had an extremely sensitive elevator response and fast landing speed but was considerably more manouverable than its German opponents at the time. The Aileron control was achieved by wing warping.
In addition to the french, 2 British squadrons flew Morane-Saulnier N?s where it was nicknamed the ?Bullet? due to th large spinner fitted on the nose.
The Type N was not particularly successful. Only 49 aircraft were built and it was quickly rendered obsolete by the pace of aircraft development.