The Safran Museum contributes to rebuilding a Dewoitine D551
Several of the Group's employees have joined up with the Replic Air* association to rebuild a D551, fighter plane made by Dewoitine, and which went out of production in June 1940. The goal is to put this legendary aircraft back in the air.
The project came about in 2015, on the initiative of the Replic' Air association. The engineers from the Association of the Friends of the Safran Museum** (AAMS) were asked to participate in this major project, notably concerning the aircraft's engines. Consequently, Replic' Air sent two Hispano-Suiza 12Y51 engines, - built at the time under license by the company Saurer (Switzerland) - to Villaroche to be restored.
This is the first time the volunteers at AAMS have worked on an engine which is intended to fly again. The AAMS volunteers are working on this project with several members of Replic'Air, as part of a dynamic, highly-motivated intergenerational team.
RESTORING TWO 12Y51 ENGINES: A LONG-TERM PROJECT
The first phase involved checking the state and reliability of the engines. Consequently, the first engine was completely dismantled, to check that all its component parts still worked correctly. Boroscopic tests were also carried out on the second engine to check it worked properly.
Since XX, the project teams have begun cleaning and inspecting all the parts, while also carrying out operating tests on the engine's various circuits. Certain parts are kept, while others are restored or even re-manufactured.
TAKE-OFF SCHEDULED FOR 2017
The final phase involves re-assembling the engines, -scheduled for 2017 - so they can be mounted on the Dewoitine D551, which has been restored and rebuilt in Toulouse. After this, an "airworthiness" certificate will be issued by the competent authorities to allow the plane to complete its first flight.
* Replic'Air is an association whose objective is to "make replicas" of historical aircraft so they can fly again.
** The Association has 150 members, either retired or still working; they are all driven by the same love of aviation and space. If you would like to join this team of volunteers - for just a few hours or one day per week on Wednesday - , then you too could take part in renovating engines, take charge of a flight-simulator workshop or act as a guide for the museum during events.