1896 Zodiac Aerospace

The company "Mallet, Mélandri et de Pitray" is founded by Maurice Mallet, Antonino Mélandri and Paul Simard de Pitray who produced the first airship for sports and tourism activities. The company would adopt the name Zodiac in 1911.


The Seguin brothers found the company "Société des moteurs Gnome" in Gennevilliers, near Paris, to make rotary engines for airplanes.

[Timeline]1905 Frères Seguin


Mark birkigt


Creation of the Hispano-Suiza works in France to produce automobiles. Three years later, the company begins to make aircraft engines.

Louis Verdet

Louis Verdet founds the company "Société des moteurs Le Rhône". In just two years it becomes Gnome's main competitor, prior to being acquired by the older company in 1915, creating the aircraft engine company "Société des Moteurs Gnome & Rhône".

Roland Garros


First flight across the Mediterranean, by Roland Garros, and first loops flown (by Pyotr Nesterov and Adolphe Pégoud). What these firsts have in common is that the aircraft are powered by Gnome engines.

Georges Messier

Founding of Messier Automobiles, which quickly becomes SFMA. The company changes its name to Messier in 1932 and specializes in aircraft landing gear.


Founding of the aircraft equipment company Labinal.

Marcel Mome

Creation of the company "Société d'Applications Générales d'Electricité et de Mécanique" (Sagem) by Marcel Môme. Originally focused on mechanical equipment, the company quickly specializes in precision equipment for the French navy. In 1939, Sagem takes over Société Anonyme de Télécommunications (SAT).

georges dowty


George Dowty creates Aircraft Components Co., which becomes Dowty Equipment Ltd. in 1940 and then joins British Messier in 1960. 

1934 Zodiac Aerospace

Zodiac develops the first prototypes of the inflatable boat designed for the civil and defense industry.


Joseph Szydlowski


Joseph Szydlowski founds the company Turbomeca to make compressors for aircraft engines.

Publicite SEPR

France creates SEPR (Société d'Etude de la Propulsion par Réaction), a company specialized in rocket propulsion technologies. 


Gnome & Rhône is nationalized and renamed Snecma (Société Nationale d'Etude et de Construction de Moteurs d'Aviation), which also consolidates most French aero-engine manufacturers, some dating back to the turn of the century. 

 publicite snecma


atar 101v

Snecma develops its first military jet engine, the Atar 101V.



Roger Cuvillier, an engineer at Sopelem, invents the Pan Cinor, ancestor of the zoom lens, which will be a big hit with professional and amateur filmmakers alike. In 1996 Sopelem is acquired by SFIM, which will be taken over by Sagem in 1999.




First flight of the Alouette II helicopter powered by a Turbomeca "Artouste" gas turbine.




SAT (Sagem) designs the world's first infrared guidance system for an air-to-air missile.

Autodirecteur mosaique


centrale inertielle

Flight of the first inertial reference system designed by Sagem. Four years later, the Diamant A rocket, guided by this type of system, will send the first French satellite into orbit.


Hispano-Suiza joins Snecma.

Logo hispano-snecma



The merger of SEPR and the rocket engine division of Snecma gives birth to the company SEP (Société Européenne de Propulsion). 

Publicite SEP



First flight of the Concorde supersonic transport (SST), featuring a number of systems from Snecma (Olympus 593 engines, designed and developed by Snecma and Rolls-Royce, the electrically actuated braking system designed by Messier, main landing gear and braking control system developed by Hispano-Suiza, etc.). This flight marks the start of Snecma's business growth in the civil aviation market. 



Moteur larzac sur laser jet


First flight of the Alpha Jet trainer, powered by a Larzac jet engine developed jointly by Snecma and Turbomeca (subsequently deployed by 13 air forces and governments).

Ravaud Newman

Snecma enters the commercial aviation engine market by signing a partnership agreement with General Electric Aircraft Engines to make the CFM56 turbofan, via their joint company, CFM International. The previous year, during the historic summit meeting in Reykjavik, presidents Georges Pompidou and Richard Nixon had already laid the foundations for this partnership.


Following a series of mergers in 1971 between Snecma, Hispano-Suiza, Messier and Bugatti, the company Messier-Hispano-Bugatti is founded to group all landing gear businesses. Hispano-Suiza also bolsters its aviation business and makes its first thrust reversers. 


Invalid Scald ID.

Zodiac breaks into its first market, in aerospace, with the acquisition of Aérazur Constructions and becomes a key player in the civilian sector be supplying aircraft systems and equipment.

bernard didier

Bernard Didier founds Morpho Systèmes, specialized in biometrics. Calling on a breakthrough technology for fingerprint identification, it goes from success to success. In 1984, the company creates North American Morpho Systèmes Inc., now MorphoTrak Inc., which focuses on the U.S. police criminal investigation market. 


In favour of new acquisitions targeting niche markets, Zodiac goes public, expanding internationally and focusing on the civilian market, in particular by establishing itself as a leader in evacuation slides.



airbus messier hispano bugatti

Messier-Hispano-Bugatti supplies the first carbon brake for a commercial airplane, an Airbus A300 (providing weight savings per aircraft of 550 kg). The very first carbon brakes had been developed a few years earlier, in conjunction with SEP, for the Dassault Aviation Mirage 2000 fighter.

technos reconnaissance de f


Sagem acquires Morpho (biometric fingerprint recognition systems), which had been founded in 1982. 


Snecma takes full control of its space subsidiary SEP.


Turbomeca and Labinal join the Snecma group.

snecma moteurs


logo hurel hispano


Hurel-Dubois merges with Hispano-Suiza's nacelle business to create Hurel-Hispano. Three years later, the company changes its name to Aircelle.


Safran is created by the merger of Snecma and Sagem.

creation de safran


frein electrique du boeing 787 dreamliner

First contract for the electric brake, from China Eastern Airlines. This major innovation was developed for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner by Messier-Bugatti. 


Snecma starts a program to develop a new-generation business jet engine, Silvercrest. 




Safran refocuses on core markets, as it divests its broadband communications and mobile phone businesses.


Safran continues to expand its security business with the acquisition of Sdu-Identification BV (which later becomes Morpho BV).




Safran and GE renew their CFM International partnership until 2040.

reconduite du partenariat safran ge



Europe launches a vast research program called Clean Sky, a Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) equally financed by the European Commission and the European aerospace industry (including Safran). The aim is to develop new technologies that will make air transport cleaner, quieter and more fuel-efficient. 



After having discontinued its marine activities in 2007, Zodiac refocuses its energy on the aerospace industry, acquiring the companies Driessen, Adder and TIA in order to consolidate its cabin activity. This same year, the company changes its name to Zodiac Aerospace.


Morpho unveils the world's first contactless biometric facial and fingerprint recognition technologies ("Face on the fly" and "Finger on the fly"). 

finger on the fly



The new-generation LEAP turbofan engine, designed and developed by CFM International, is chosen by Comac of China as the sole Western powerplant for its new single-aisle commercial jet, the C919, slated to enter service in 2016.

moteur LEAP



Creation of Safran University.

logo safran university



Safran share added to the French stock market index, CAC 40.

Entrée de Safran dans l’indice CAC 40.



Sagem and Thales create a 50/50 optronics joint venture, Optrolead. They also take full control of their 50/50 joint venture, Sofradir, and transfer their infrared detector operations to this company.

Coupure de presse Les Echos « Sofradir reprend les activités de Sagem et Thales »



Acquisition of GEPS (Goodrich Electrical Power Systems), making Safran a world leader in aircraft electrical systems. Safran consolidates all businesses concerning the design of these systems, leading to the creation of Labinal Power Systems, grouping Labinal, Technofan and Safran Power.

Coupure AFP « Safran se renforce dans l’avion plus électrique »



Creation of Safran Composites, a research center dedicated to composite materials.




First public demonstration of the EGTS electric taxiing system.




Safran acquires Eaton Aerospace's aircraft electrical distribution and integrated cockpit solutions, bolstering its airborne electrical power strategy.

Coupure de presse Air&Cosmos « Safran finalise le rachat des activités d'électricité embarquée de Eaton »



Launch of Clean Sky 2, follow-on to the European research program Clean Sky. One of its objectives is a 75% reduction in CO2 emissions per passenger-kilometer by 2050.

Coupure de presse Flight International



Safran and Airbus create a 50/50 joint venture to offer a new family of launch vehicles, combining competitiveness, versatility and high performance. 

Safran-Airbus Joint venture



Rolls-Royce and Hispano-Suiza (Safran) create a 50/50 joint venture, specialized in the design, development, production and support of accessory drive trains (ADT) for all of Rolls-Royce's future civil aircraft engines. 

Logo of the new joint venture Aero Gearbox International



Creation of Safran Corporate Ventures, a corporate venture capital (CVC) entity to finance startups that have developed breakthrough technologies or approaches in Safran core businesses.

Young engineers in front of a 3D printer.



Creation of a new entity called Safran Analytics to develop the Group expertise in all aspects of Big Data. Safran Analytics will help improve our processes and develop innovative services to reduce customers' operating costs.

A man is looking at charts on his computer.



Inauguration of Safran Tech, the Group Research & Technology center, located in the Paris suburb of Saclay. Grouping nearly 300 researchers from many different horizons, Safran Tech was founded to pool the Group's different areas of expertise and foster breakthrough technologies.

Vue extérieure du site Safran Paris Saclay



Safran inaugurates flagship regional site: Safran Toulouse.

Exterior view, Safran Toulouse



Cessna chose the Silvercrest to power its new Citation Hemisphere.


Safran invested in Diota, the leading French publisher of augmented reality software solutions for industry.

Safran was at the Convergence trade show dedicated to the Industry of the Future, from 6th to 9th December 2016. 
The event was encouraged by the President of France François Hollande.



The Patroller™ was recently chosen by the French government. Starting in 2018, 14 Patroller™ systems will gradually replace the Sperwer tactical drone systems now deployed by the French army.

French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian visit to the Safran Electronics & Defense plant in Montluçon



All the companies of the Group now share the same logo and their names include the Safran brand name.

Logo Safran



The LEAP-1B and -1C received dual EASA/FAA certification and the LEAP-1A started revenue service on an A320neo for launch customer Pegasus Airlines.



Safran enters into exclusive negotiations with Advent International for bringing together Safran Identity & Security with Oberthur Technologies.



Airbus Safran Launchers JV finalized: Europe's new space industry champion fully operational.

Vue d'artiste de l'Ariane 6 (A64)



The CFM56 is the world's best-selling commercial jet engine, with over 30,000 delivered as of 2016.

30,000th CFM56 engine comes off the production line



easyJet and CFM International celebrated 20 years of partnership.

De gauche à droite : Olivier Andriès, Président de Safran Aircraft Engines; Patrick Gandil, Directeur Général de l'Aviation Civile Française (DGAC); Carolyn McCcmaall, Directrice Générale d'easyJet; Philippe Petitcolin, Directeur Général de Safran et Jean-Paul Ebanga, Président-Directeur Général de CFM.



Completion of the sale of Safran's identity and security activities to Advent International.

Empreinte digitale



Safran takes control of Zodiac Aerospace, significantly expanding its aircraft equipment activities.

Zodiac Aerospace


Hit enter to search or ESC to close