Published in Midwest Flyer – October/November 2017 issue
OSHKOSH, WIS. – A flightworthy replica of the World War I-era Morane-Saulnier Type L “Parasol” aeroplane – an ancestor to Daher’s TBM turboprop aircraft – was showcased for the first time during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, July 24-30 at Wittman Regional Airport, Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
The vintage aircraft replica is the result of a six-year adventure that started in 2011 with the 100th anniversary of Daher’s roots as an aircraft manufacturer. “We decided to exhibit the Type L at Oshkosh in 2017 because this year marks the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I, which had an enormous influence in the development of aviation,” explained Nicolas Chabbert, the Senior Vice President of Daher’s Airplane Business Unit, and President of SOCATA North America, its U.S subsidiary.
The replica’s construction project is managed by the Association Héritage Avions Morane-Saulnier, whose volunteers – both retired and current workers of Daher and its predecessor companies – brought their energy and passion to this effort. Over 15,000 man-hours went into building the replica.
The replica retains the Type L Parasol’s original wooden structure, along with the wing-warping system and the aircraft’s all-flying rudder and stabilator controls.
Since the Morane-Saulnier aircraft was built to fly, modern upgrades were incorporated, including the substitution of a 110 hp Rotec radial engine in place of the original Le Rhone rotary 80 hp engine.
“Giving a ‘rebirth’ to the Type L represents the excellence in manufacturing and ingenuity that is reflected today in our TBM 910 and TBM 930 aircraft – which are recognized for their performance and quality,” Chabbert added.
Bringing the Type L Parasol to Oshkosh also highlights Daher’s parent company’s logistics expertise in transporting the aircraft from Daher’s industrial site at Tarbes, France to the United States.