Saturday, 25 September 2010

Salmson 7AC Aero Engine

First of all I must apologise as the following article is from memory, there may be some slight inaccuracies but most of the content is, I think, correct.

During the Second World War, there was a particular little aeroplane that became quite the hero of the people in and around the Vichy France area.
Because of the politics and tensions, resistance against the German forces and associates must have been a terrible struggle.
The tenuous situation was supported by the brave occupants of a Caudron Luciolle biplane of the late 1920 period.
She had been pressed into action in a new lease of life, equally as important as her record of training many of France's most recognized "pilotes".
It is known that this little aircraft had been brought down by small arms fire on more than one occasion, finally languishing in forgotten disarray until the early 1970's.

The sad decaying hulk became the subject of a full restoration, her period beauty and charm coming to life, the wonderful delicate "scalloped" trailing edged wings spread wide once again. The engine however, was replaced with a similar but serviceable item.

During the early 1990's the aircraft was bought by an ex Mirage pilot from France, included with the aircraft was a box of the completely dismantled and neglected original engine.

In the late 1990's  I was introduced to the owner who asked the possibility of rebuilding the engine to a running but non flying standard.
To rebuild an historic aero engine would be a great privilege, however to build this engine with so much history would be quite an honour.

Finally the engine is or was, I understand, on public display in Toulouse. The aircraft has been used in publicity events, recognising it's contribution to the history of France.

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