In 1950 Max Holste and his team were developing an aircraft capable of working in widely different environments and adaptable to many roles, under the designation MH.150.
The MH.152 was an adaptation of the 150 designed to meet the requirements of the French army for a light spotter aircraft. It was configured as a braced, high-wing monoplane for greater visibility with fixed tricycle undercarriage (taildragger arrangement), a twin vertical stabiliser tail unit and accommodation for four plus the pilot. The prototype was powered by a 164-kW (220 hp) Salmson 8AS Argus engine but by the time of its first flight the army had revised its requirements to which the 152 no longer suited.
The prototype 152 was used by CEV as a flying test bed for the turbo prop engine, the Astazou, under the designation MH 153.
Despite being rejected by the Army, Max Holste believed there was a future for the 152 and courted the civil market, particularly for argricultural, ambulance, light transport and photograhpic work. Holste took a bold decision to go ahead with production without any customers but he also took the opportunity to make it much more powerful, slightly larger, and carry an extra seat and designated this model the MH.1521.
Aside from other very slight differences it appeared the same externally. The Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine with more than double the power was adopted, driving a constant speed Hamilton Standard propellor.
It was only after its first flight on 17 December 1952, at Reims-St. Leonard, piloted by Pierre Henry and Max Holste, that the prototype 1521, F-WGIU was renamed "Broussard", meaning "Bushman”.
Trials started on 20 April 1953 and lasted until June, with a period of tropical trials in Africa. The Broussard, was a strong aircraft with excellent Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) characteristics.
The first civil production Broussard flew on 16 June 1954 followed a week later by the military version (below).
An ambulance interior was available which could accommodate two stretchers and seating for two more casualties or medics.
At this time France was embroiled in a war with one of it’s colonies, Indochina (Vietnam) and the Army required 400 light utility aircraft to serve there.
On 25 April,1953 the French Army, placed an order for the Broussard, this specially equipped military version being designated MH.1521M.
In 1954 the war ended and the Army revised its requirement.
Used as a light utility and aerial artillery observation post, the Max Holste company continued to produce the Broussard until 1961.
Some MH1521’s were specifically equipped for agricultural use, identified by the suffix ‘A’.
The French military requested some modifications to the 1521M to increase STOL performance. A prototype (designated M.H 1522M) was modified with a full wingspan leading edge slot and double-slotted trailing edge flaps to improve slow speed handling, and first flew February 11th, 1958.
The army used the Broussard from 1956 to 1987, and the airforce between 1957 to 1993. The Navy operated a small number from 1957 to 1970.
was the designation given to the civilianised 1522M Broussards.
Present day (2005)
The Broussard was not retired from French service until the mid 1980s and was in service in around fifteen countries. Many of which were former French colonies in Africa, including Cameroon, Chad, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Morocco, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo and High volta (Burkina-faso).
Excluding protoypes, a total of 366 Broussards were completed by Max Holste between 1954 and 1961, of which 47 were M.H 1521C (civil versions). Max Holste left the company in 1961, which then became Reims Aviation.