The Flamant (Flamingo) was the first product of the then newly-formed Générale Aéronautique Marcel Dassault, set up after World War II by the eminent aircraft designer, Marcel Bloch. Bloch had refused to collaborate with the occupying Nazi forces and was interned in Buchenwald concentration camp. On his return to France, he adopted the name Dassault, the nom de guerre his brother had used while fighting for the French resistance. The Flamant was designed to fulfil a French Air Force requirement for a light communications aircraft with a secondary training capacity, with initial production intended for use in the French colonies. A specialized navigation training version quickly followed, as did a transport version for use within France. Large numbers of Flamants were turned over to French aero clubs in the 1970s, though the type remained in French military service until replaced by the Embraer Xingu in 1985. While a few remain active with enthusiast groups, the number of survivors is declining.
First flight: 26 Feb 47 (c/n 01)
Production: 321, at Mérignac, France.
First delivery: 27 Feb 49, to the French Air Force (c/n 1)
Last delivery: 15 Sep 53, to the French Air Force (c/n 293)
Variants: MD-303 - prototype 10-seat utility transport, powered by 2 Béarn 6D radials (1 built);
MD-315 - initial production version, for the colonial programme and powered by 2 SNECMA 12S radials (138 built, including 2 pre-production aircraft; first flight 6 Jul 47);
MD-312 - 6-seat transport for use in metropolitan France (143 built, comprising 118 for the Air Force and 25 for the Navy; first flight 27 Apr 50);
MD-311 - navigation training version, with glazed nose (39 built; first flight 23 Mar 48).