European Heritage Days 2013 Safran celebrates its century-long heritage

Paris, August 30, 2013

The Safran Aerospace Museum opens its doors to the public on September 14 and 15, 2013 for the 30th European Heritage Days. The theme this year is "100 years of protection", in honor of a law passed in 1913 providing for the protection of historic monuments in France.

Visitors will discover an unrivaled collection of aircraft engines and other aerospace artifacts, some over 100 years old, and learn about the different stages in safeguarding Safran's air and space heritage. The Gnome Sigma engine1 is an excellent example of the company's heritage and how it has been preserved, since it is part of the Museum's permanent collection. This rotary engine powered the Morane Saulnier type H monoplane flown by Roland Garros in the first flight across the Mediterranean.

Reflecting this year's theme of safeguarding heritage, the Safran Aerospace Museum is offering two exclusive exhibitions, with models of two exceptional aircraft:
-*"L'Arc-en-Ciel": the first trimotor to fly across the Atlantic (south), in 1933 (arc-en-ciel is French for "rainbow, and Arc stands for "Avions René Couzinet").

  • "L'Oiseau Blanc" (the "White Bird): powered by the legendary Lorraine-Dietrich engine2, this aircraft may have flown across the Atlantic 12 days before Lindbergh in 1927.

The two models will be officially presented to the Museum after this event.

Visitors from 1 to 100 will be able to enjoy the special events organized by the Museum in conjunction with various associations:

  • A cockpit from the Airbus A320, powered by the CFM56 – the best-selling aero-engine in the world – will be set up at the museum. It will enable visitors to try their hand at flying a commercial jet, from takeoff to landing, as well as dealing with a complete engine shutdown in flight!
    (in partnership with GG Production: "Unlimited Dreams")
  • Flight simulator for the Bell 206, the famous American helicopter. Visitors will be able to take the controls of this highly realistic flight training system and learn about flying under VFR (Visual Flight Rules) and IFR (Instrument Flight Rules).
    (in partnership with Nonolight, "Helicopters for everybody")
  • Youngsters 8 and older will be able to attend three workshops on water-powered rockets and three workshops on solid-propellant model rockets. This is the best way, both fun and educational, to teach them about the different aspects of rocket propulsion. Rockets will be launched from the Museum parking lot (average altitude: 20 meters).
    (in partnership with the association Planète Sciences)
  • A workshop on radio-controlled model helicopters will teach people how to fly these electric-powered machines. This will be an ongoing workshop, with 10 to 15 minute sessions.
    (offered by the Association of Friends of the Safran Museum)

The public will also be able to visit the Museum's permanent collection from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm on both days. Some of the highlights of this collection include:

  • A Messier car from 1925, the first with an oleopneumatic suspension.
  • Gnome & Rhône D3 motorcycle with its own gas generator from 1929.
  • Mirage III C fighter and Alouette II helicopter: visitors can have their photos taken in these aircraft.
  • Blériot 11 airplane, powered by the first Gnome Omega engine.

Two "tourist trains will also be available for all visitors on Saturday and Sunday, September 14-15, to shuttle them between the Safran Aerospace Museum and the neighboring city of Réau, which is offering other special events.

1 The company Gnome et Rhône was nationalized in 1945 along with other French aero-engine manufacturers and renamed SNECMA (Société Nationale d'Etude et de Construction de Moteurs d'Avion). Snecma merged with Sagem in 2005, creating Safran.

2 Lorraine-Dietrich, created in 1871, built automobiles, railway rolling stock, heavy equipment and aircraft engines. It was taken over by Gnome et Rhône in 1941. The Lorraine-Dietrich engine will shortly be part of the Museum's permanent collection.


The Safran Air & Space Museum offers a unique collection of more than 100 airplane, helicopter and rocket engines. Most of the pieces on display were restored by the Association of Friends of the Safran Museum (for aircraft engines) and by former employees of the Société Européenne de Propulsion (SEP, now part of the Safran group), for rocket engines. Reflecting the long history of the Safran group, these powerplants tell the story of our conquest of air and space. The Museum offers visitors dynamic, interactive exhibitions, with audiovisual systems providing an entertaining, informative complement to the historic objects on display. In addition to these legendary engines, the Safran Museum also presents a selection of the aircraft equipment manufactured by the Group, including landing gear and braking systems, and some of the prestigious products made by predecessor companies, from luxury cars, to motorcycles, to pressure cookers!

Safran is a leading international high-technology group with three core businesses: Aerospace (propulsion and equipment), Defence and Security. Operating worldwide, the Group has 62,500 employees and generated sales of 13.6 billion euros in 2012. Working alone or in partnership, Safran holds world or European leadership positions in its core markets. The Group invests heavily in Research & Development to meet the requirements of changing markets, including expenditures of 1.6 billion Euros in 2012. Safran is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris and is part of the CAC40 index.
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Press Contacts :
Catherine MALEK
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