When two aerospace museums take off together

Catherine Maunoury, Director of the Air & Space Museum at the Le Bourget Airport, visited the Safran Aerospace Museum in Villaroche, near Paris, on March 28. Safran CEO Jean-Paul Herteman personally welcomed her for a guided visit.

Named director of the Air & Space Museum in June 2010, Catherine Maunoury was "thrilled" with her visit. The Safran Aerospace Museum is located at the Villaroche plant near Paris, which produces CFM56 turbofan engines. She especially liked the museum layout, noting "The engines are incredibly beautiful, and displayed like that they would make great sculptures!. The displays are very educational, and well adapted to younger visitors." After her visit, an enthusiastic Catherine Maunoury said, "Aircraft engines clearly illustrate what the French, at the cutting edge of technology since the early days of aviation, are capable of doing: inventing, building and innovating."

Exchanging best practices
The two museums have long-standing ties. As early as 1985, Snecma signed an agreement with the Air & Space Museum, since it wanted to put together a collection of piston engines built by Gnome and Gnome & Rhône, the two founding companies of the Group. The agreement provided for the restoration of piston engines belonging to the Air & Space Museum by volunteers from Snecma. In exchange, Snecma would keep an example of each refurbished engine, in order to build up its collections for a planned aerospace museum. Less than one year after signing this agreement, the Air & Space Museum received its first restored engine.

A solid commitment to teamwork
These links are now being extended. "In fact, we offer very complementary exhibitions, given the Safran Museum's collection of engines, and our collection of aircraft. And of course we recount the same story, namely the conquest of the air and space," said Catherine Maunoury after her visit. There is definitely a commitment to exchanges, as shown by the first Carrefour de l'Air ("Air Crossroads"), a conference bringing together all French aerospace museums, including Safran of course, organized by the Air & Space Museum on March 26 and 27.