MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!
Safran: in search of the White Bird
Paris, December 15, 2011
Safran has signed a two-yearpartnership agreement with the association La Recherche de
l'Oiseau Blanc ("In Search of the White Bird"). It will be participating in search operations off
the coast of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, to find the wreckage of the OiseauBlanc (White Bird),
the legendary plane flown by French pilots Charles Nungesser and François Coli, that may
have crossed the Atlantic 12 days before Lindbergh in 1927.
The association has made considerable progress over the last four years, but now needs
further financial and technical resourcesto provide incontrovertible proof that the French
crew was indeed the first to have flown across the Atlantic non-stop.
Safran will be helping the association on its fourth search campaign to find the Lorraine-
Dietrich engine that powered the White Bird and is one of the cornerstones of Safran's
heritage*. The association will be directing a team of divers and engineers off the coast of
Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon to carry out a new series of searches.
Safran Chairman and CEO Jean-Paul Herteman said: "Asa French aircraftengine maker,
and because of our historical ties with Lorraine-Dietrich, we felt it was our duty to participate
in the search for the White Bird. The Lorraine-Dietrich was an exceptional engine, offering
unrivaled performance at the time**.By looking for the aircraft's engine, Safran is in fact
seeking to find a piece of our own history."
"I'm very proud that a company like Safran is working with our association on a project that I
consider a key to our shared history," added Bernard Decré, president of the association "In
Search of the White Bird". "Our partnership with Safranis not only financial, but reflects a
real team approachto solving an 84-year old mystery, one that could change the history of
A Lorraine-Dietrich engine currently stored at the Le Bourget Air and Space Museum should
shortly be transferred to the collection of the Safran Aerospace Museum in Villaroche, near
* The companyLorraine-Dietrich was founded in 1871. It built automobiles and rolling stock, then
heavy machinery and aircraft engines.It was acquired by Gnome & Rhône in 1941. In 1945, Gnome &
Rhône was nationalized, along with other French engine-makers reaching back to the dawn of aviation,
and renamed Snecma. Snecma merged with Sagem in 2005, creating the Safran group.
** Lorraine-Dietrich aircraft engines: selected achievements from 1927 to 1930
- First crossingof the South Atlantic (on a nightflight) by a twin-engine seaplane, pilotedby
Portuguese captain Sarmiento de Beires, during his exploration of South America.
- Pilots Challe and Rapin fly from Paris to Saigon (12,000 km) in nine days.
- Lieutenant Lassalleand Warrant OfficerDuroyon fly a Potez airplane14,000 kilometers in five
days, on round trips between Paris-Oslo, Paris-Madrid,Paris-Warsaw, Paris-Rome and Paris-
- Pilots Paillard, Le Brix and Jousse fly from Paris to Calcutta (11,000 km) in five days.
- Three Dutch navy twin-engine Dornier seaplanes fly from the Netherlands to Indonesia (16,000
km), making the first air crossing of the Indian Ocean (1,620 km).
- The CAMS 37 seaplane mail carrier makes eight trips from the Ile de France oceanliner to the
American and French coasts, saving up to 48 hours in mail distribution.
- Potez airplanesmake round-trip weekly mail runs between Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile
(1,200 km), each time crossing the Andes mountainchain at an altitude of over 16,000 feet, under
very difficult conditions: -50° temperature, snow storms, violent wind gusts, etc.
Safran is a leadinginternational high-technology group with three core businesses: Aerospace
(propulsion and equipment), Defence and Security.Operating worldwide, the Safran group has more
than 54,000 employeesand generated sales of 10.8 billion eurosin 2010. Workingalone 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 1.2 billion euros in 2010. Safran is listed on NYSE EuronextParis and its share is part
of the CAC 40.
For more information,www.safran-group.com
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