Lioré et Olivier, Potez, Chantiers aéro maritimes de la Seine, Chantiers aéronavals Étienne Romano & Société provençale de constructions aéronautiques
France (February 1, 1937 (1937-02-01))
March 1, 1957 (1957-03-01)
SNCASE (abbreviated from Société nationale des constructions aéronautiques du Sud-Est) or Sud-Est was a French aircraft manufacturer. The company was formed on February 1, 1937 by the nationalization and merger of Lioré et Olivier, Potez, CAMS, Romano and SPCA.
SNCASE incorporated the facilities of Potez in Berre-l'Étang, CAMS in Vitrolles, Romano in Cannes, SPCA in Marseille and Lioré et Olivier at Argenteuil and Marignane. SNCASE became the largest of the aeronautical Sociétés nationales, with 225000 m2 of space in six factories and 2550 employees. (1700 of the workforce came from Lioré et Olivier, along with 90% of then-current manufacturing contracts.)
In 1941, during the Second World War, the Paris design bureaus of both the nationalized and the private aircraft firms were relocated to avoid capture.:13 SNCASE acquired the failing SNCAM and moved its engineering operations to SNCAM's headquarters at the former Dewoitine factory in Toulouse.:13
During the rationalisation of the nationalised Aircraft Industry during the 1950s, SNCASE merged with SNCASO to form Sud Aviation on March 1, 1957, which in turn was later amalgamated into Aérospatiale and eventually the EADS group.
Most early Sud-Est aircraft retained their earlier designations, such as the Lioré et Olivier LeO 451 bomber. The first aircraft produced under the Sud-Est marque was the Sud-Est SE 100 (formerly Leo 50) fighter.
As well as fixed winged aircraft work, SNCASE carried out research into rotary-winged aircraft capitalising on the experience gained from absorbing the Liore et Olivier team which had license-built the Cierva C.30 design (as the LeO C.30 and C.301 to C.305 variants), and designing and building the LeO C.34 (derived from Kellett designs). After World War II further work on autogyro's produced the SE.700 and SE.700A multi-seat Liaison autogyros, which were quickly over-shadowed by the rapid development of helicopters.
SNCASE continued experimenting with helicopters with the help from a team from Focke Achgelis building the SE.3000, which was a French version of the twin-rotor Focke Achgelis Fa 223 Drache, and the smaller, more conventional, SE.3101. With this experience SNCASE went on to design the SE.3110 and eventually the SE.3120 Alouette which first flew on 21 July 1951 and broke the helicopter distance and speed records in July 1953. Production versions of the Alouette emerged as the commercially successful Alouette II and Alouette III, resulting in production runs of several hundreds, with many exported.
Fixed wing aircraft were also developed post World War II, with several jet research aircraft and two significant airliners: The SE-2010 Armagnac and the SE-210 Caravelle airliners. Production licences were also obtained from de Havilland for the D.H. 112 Sea Venom to provide all-weather and day fighters for the Aéronautique Navale., with 121 two-seat and single-seat Aquilon 20 / 201 / 202 / 203 / 204 built from 1952.
^ abcdefghijHartmann, Gérard (2005-01-05), Les réalisations de la SNCASE (PDF) (in French), retrieved 2009-07-15, "Alors qu’on ne sait pas très clairement si les sociétés nationales sont des « usines de production de guerre » sans indépendance et sans bureau d'études, la SNCASE est officiellement formée le 1er février 1937."