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Safran’s commitment to safeguarding aerospace heritage


August 15, 2017

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM) in Washington, D.C. and the Udvar-Hazy Center – NASM’s companion facility located in Virginia – hold the largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world. 

With more than eight million visitors per year at its two locations, NASM is the most visited museum in the United States. Opened in 1976, the museum houses a collection of some 60,000 objects, and one-third of the aircraft and spacecraft are one-of-a-kind or associated with a major milestone in aviation. 

For this reason – and given Safran’s historical leadership in aerospace – NASM has acquired more than 40 artifacts from the Group’s past, to include the Gnome Omega No. 1 rotary aircraft engine, developed by the Seguin brothers (1908); multiple early-era Hispano-Suiza engines and gun mounts; a CFM56-2 turbofan powerplant for jetliners; and a Snecma Viking liquid fueled rocket engine, used on Ariane space launch vehicles. This reflects the Group’s strong commitment to safeguarding aerospace heritage. 

Here is a selection of Safran artifacts on display at NASM (photo descriptions are provided below):

1. A 1908 Gnome Omega engine manufactured by Gnome et Rhône. This No.1 engine produced 50 hp.; more than 3,000 were sold by 1913.

2. This 1916 Hispano-Suiza engine built, by Wright-Martin, was made of aluminum. The 180 hp. V8 powerplant was lighter and more powerful than its competition.

3. Manufactured by Hispano-Suiza, the 1918 World War I-era timing degree wheel was for a V8 engine.

4. A 1919 U-16 engine manufactured by King-Bugatti. Designed by Ettore Bugatti, the engine produced 410 hp.

5. This 1943 20 mm. Mk.II cannon was manufactured by Hispano.

6. CFM56-2 turbofan engine manufactured by CFM International. This particular powerplant was used for flight qualification testing on a McDonnell Douglas DC-8-70 in 1981.

7. A 1999 R391 advanced propeller system manufactured by Dowty. This propeller unit, bearing serial number 0001, was the first made. The R391 is used on the Lockheed Martin C-130J and Alenia Aeronautica C-27J airlifters.

8. A 2001 main landing gear manufactured by Messier-Dowty. This landing gear is used on the Airbus A330 and A340.