It’s big, bold and brassy – it’s a Broussard, a Beaver with a Gallic twist!

By: shortfinals

Jan 09 2009

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: aircraft, Aviation, Great Vintage Flying Weekend


Focal Length:9.2mm
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Max Holste  MH1521 Broussard

When the French Army wanted a strong, serviceable utility aircraft, they asked the Max Holste concern to re-invent the wheel, or rather re-invent the DHC Beaver. Like the earlier Beaver, the Broussard (French for ‘brush’) was powered by the 450 hp Pratt & Whitney R985  radial engine.  However, despite the fact that 335 of them were built in France during the 1950s, and it looked remarkably similar to its Canadian rival (except for a twin-tail assembly) it was no way near as successful.  Nose heavy, and with some difficult handling characteristics, it is a real handful for the average pilot.  It can handle a payload of over 2, 200 lbs, but that ensures that it flies more like a truck than an aircraft; aerobatics are strictly prohibited!

Here we see an example in French Army markings, at GVWFE, Keevil. Just like the Beaver, when it takes off, everyone with a mile or so knows about it – it is one of the noisiest aircraft, pound for pound, that I have ever heard.

2 comments on “It’s big, bold and brassy – it’s a Broussard, a Beaver with a Gallic twist!”

  1. Hi there,

    Not sure where you’re obtaining your info, but the Broussard was actually developed independently of French military specification after they had lost interest in the earlier MH.152 of 1949 vintage. So no-one asked Max Holste to “re-invent” the Beaver.

    In fact DHC could have learned something about building rugged aeroplanes from MH; every panel of the Broussard was painted and sealed on the inside before assembly to prevent corrosion.

    Once they finally recognised the potential of the MH.1521, the French military ordered it in volume.

    The Broussard was also renowned for its suitability as an ab initio trainer, despite your claim that it had poor handling.


    A Broussard fan


    • I get my information from many sources, including in this case personal inspection and experience. And yes, during my Broussard flight, I would regard the handling (particularly in the landing phase) as a little uncertain. Signed…..someone who knows!!!!


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