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

Following the end of the Second World War, Avions Max Holste designed and built a new two-seat trainer and tourer aircraft, the Max Holste MH.52, of which only small numbers were built. Holste then responded to a French Army requirement for an artillery spotter aircraft for a lightweight liaison and observation aircraft. The resulting design, the MH.152, had a fuselage based on that of the MH.52 and a high-mounted wing.

It was powered by a 220 horsepower (160 kW) Salmson 8 As.04 engine and had an enclosed, fully-glazed cabin seating a pilot and four passengers. A prototype flew on 12 June 1951. While it demonstrated good short-field performance, the French Army’s needs had changed, with it now requiring a robust utility aircraft similar to the de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver.

As a result, the company decided to develop a slightly larger version, the MH.1521 with the engine changed to a Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior, which at 450 horsepower (340 kW) provided almost twice as much power and a slab-sided fuselage giving room for up to seven seats.

The MH.1521 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. It first flew on 17 November 1952.

It was 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 novel, “Leo 25 Airborne”, based on his experiences flying Broussards with Escadrille ELO 3/45 in Algeria.

The first production aircraft made its maiden flight on 16 June 1954, and 363 were built before production ended in 1961. Its similarity to the de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver in looks, capability and performance led it to be nicknamed “the French Beaver”.

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