Bloch MB.210 in French service
The MB.210 was the low-wing late 1930's updating of the high-wing MB.200 bomber of the early 1930's.
Although a retractable gear design, the prototype first flew in late 1934 with fixed gear. A second prototype was built with Hispano-Suiza engines as the MB.211, but with poor performance that model was not further developed.
French naval aviation requested a seaplane bomber version, and a prototype MB.210H (hydroplane) was first flown in 1936 in preparation for a production run of 8 MB.218 seaplanes. Performance was determined to be too poor, and the MB.218 project was cancelled. The MB.210H was retained and used for torpedo testing.
The first production MB.210 flew in late 1936, but the fleet was soon grounded due to poor engine performance. The original engines were replaced with more reliable Gnome-Rhône 14N's and returned to service. Production was of 2 models; the MB.210Bn.4 (bomber, night, 4 crew) and the MB.210Bn.5 (bomber night 5 crew).
By 1939 the MB.210 equipped 12 bomber squadrons, and after the Fall Of France surviving aircraft remained in service with the Vichy air force.