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European Heritage Days 2014: Safran Aerospace Museum opens its doors all weekend

Paris, France – WEBWIRE

The Safran Aerospace Museum opens its doors to the public the weekend of September 20 and 21, 2014 for the 31st European Heritage Days.

Whether you’re an aviation or history buff, or just out with the family for a fun visit, the Safran Museum will introduce you to an unrivaled collection of historic aircraft engines and other aerospace artifacts, some over 100 years old. The Museum is also organizing a number of special events for visitors of all ages.

The Safran Aerospace Museum is offering two exhibitions this year:

  • “Aces of the First World War”, in honor of the centenary of the start of the “War to end all Wars” (photo exhibition)
  • L’Oiseau Blanc (the "White Bird): the legendary aircraft powered by the well-known Lorraine-Dietrich engine1, which may have flown across the Atlantic 12 days before Lindbergh in 1927. Both a model of the plane and a Lorraine-Dietrich engine of the same type will be on display.

The French army, navy and air force are special guests over the weekend. Representatives will present different military professions, including first sergeant Ludovic Quenin, specialist in the Mirage 2000 fighter and its M53 engine, built by Snecma (Safran).

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. Visitors can try their hand at flying a commercial jet, from takeoff to landing.
    (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, a great way to teach them about rocket propulsion. Rockets will be launched from the Museum parking lot (reaching an average altitude of 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 XI airplane, powered by the first Gnome Omega engine.
  • Demonstration of the Coléoptère vertical takeoff and landing vehicle.

A Goody’s food truck will be in the parking lot all day long.

Two “tourist trains” will also be available for all visitors on Saturday and Sunday, September 20-21, to shuttle them between the Safran Aerospace Museum and the neighboring city of Réau, which is offering other special events.

Feedback from visitors in 2013:

“My son dreams of being a pilot, and he was able to sit in the Mirage cockpit.”

“I came with my family, and it’s great for the kids because there’s so much to do, and so many demonstrations.”

“It’s not the first time I’ve come, but each time you learn something new. We’ll be back!”

1 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. A Lorraine-Dietrich engine will soon 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 66,300 employees and generated sales of 14.7 billion euros in 2013*. 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 1.8 billion Euros in 2013. Safran is listed on Euronext Paris and is part of the CAC40 index.
* Sales in 2013 restated for the impacts of IFRS11 amounted to 14.4 billion euros.
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