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Max-Holste MH-1521 Broussard - AirExpo Muret 2007 0168 2007-05-12.jpg
Max-Holste MH-1521 Broussard at Airexpo 2007
Role Six-seat utility monoplane
National origin France
Manufacturer Avions Max Holste
First flight 1952
Introduction 1954
Retired 1983
Primary user French Army
Number built 396
Developed from Max Holste MH.152

The Max Holste MH.1521 Broussard is a 1950s French six-seat utility monoplane designed by Max Holste to meet a French Army requirement.

Design and developmentEdit

The MH.1521 Broussard was designed to meet a requirement for a lightweight liaison and observation aircraft. It is a braced high-wing monoplane with twin vertical tail surfaces. It has a fixed tailwheel landing gear and is powered by a nose-mounted Pratt & Whitney R-985 radial piston engine. A smaller 220 hp (164 kW) Salmson Argus powered prototype aircraft, the MH.152, was first flown on 12 June 1951; it had room for a pilot and four passengers but was too small and underpowered to meet the Army requirement. The company decided to develop a slightly larger version and changed the engine to a Pratt and Whitney Wasp Junior, which at 450 hp provided almost twice as much power. This model was designated the MH.1521 and later named the Broussard (lit. Man of the Bush, in the context of bush pilots rather than Bushmen). Its development was enthusiastically supported at a political level by WWII fighter ace and French war hero Pierre Clostermann, a close friend of Max Holste. Clostermann wrote a faction (literature) novel, "Leo 25 Airborne", based on his experiences flying Broussards with Escadrille ELO 3/45 in Algeria.

The prototype Broussard first flew on 17 November 1952 and was followed by the first civil and military production aircraft in June 1954, and 363 were built between 1954 and 1959. Its similarity to the de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver in looks, capability and performance lead it to be nicknamed "the French Beaver".

Operational historyEdit

It saw service in the Algerian War as an Army cooperation aircraft, mostly as an artillery spotter and in an air supply/ambulance role where its good short-field performance and resistance to ground fire were required. Its distinctive sound, made by its noisy radial engine and large propeller, was a disadvantage as the Algerian guerrillas could hear its approach long before other aircraft. It remained in service until the 1980s, and can still be seen in France, the UK, and the United States being operated by enthusiasts or collectors.


MH-1521M Broussard
Prototypes, five built plus two pre-production aircraft and 19 pre-production military variants.
Aircraft modified for agricultural use.
Commercial variant, 52 built.
Military variant, 318 built.
One modified prototype aircraft flown in 1958 with full span leading-edge slots and double-slotted trailing edge flaps to improve stall performance.


Military operatorsEdit

Flag of Argentina.svg Argentina
Flag of Benin.svg Benin
Flag of Cambodia.svg Cambodia
Flag of Cameroon.svg Cameroon
Flag of the Central African Republic.svg Central African Republic
Flag of Chad.svg Chad
Flag of France.svg France
Flag of Côte d'Ivoire.svg Ivory Coast
Flag of Madagascar.svg Madagascar
Flag of Mali.svg Mali
  • 1
Flag of Mauritania.svg Mauritania
Flag of Morocco.svg Morocco
Flag of Niger.svg Niger
Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal
Flag of Senegal.svg Senegal

Civil operatorsEdit

Flag of France.svg France


Max Holste MH-1521M Broussard F-GIBN OTT 2013 01

MH-1521M Broussard F-GIBN flying at Oldtimer Fliegertreffen Hahnweide in 2013.

  • G-YYYY (c/n 208) flies from Eggesford, UK in 2010.[1]
  • F-GIBN (c/n 317) stationed in Walldürn, Germany and in flying condition.[2]
  • HB-RSL (c/n 52) stationed in Biel-Kappelen, Switzerland and in flying condition.[3]
  • One is in the Musée européen de l’Aviation de Chasse, Montélimar, France.

Specifications (MH.1521M)Edit

Data from The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft.[4]

General characteristics
  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 5
  • Length: 8.65 m (28 ft 4½ in)
  • Wingspan: 13.75 m (45 ft 1¼ in)
  • Height: 3.65 m (12 ft 0 in)
  • Wing area: 25.20 m2 (271.26 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 1530 kg (3373 lb)
  • Gross weight: 2500 kg (5512 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 radial piston engine, 336 kW (450 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 270 km/h (168 mph)
  • Service ceiling: 5500 m (18045 ft)

See alsoEdit


  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. 
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing. pp. 2436. 
  • Simpson, R.W.. Airlife's General Aviation. England: Airlife Publishing. pp. 176. ISBN 1-85310-194-X. 

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