History

The name “Hispano-Suiza” still sets pulses racing because of the company’s legendary history in both automobiles and aviation. For more than a century now, whether in France or abroad, this brand has evoked an image of performance, quality and innovation, qualities that are just as much in evidence today.

 

1904
- Marc Birkigt (Swiss engineer) and Damian Mateu (Spanish industrialist) create Hispano-Suiza in Barcelona to develop internal-combustion engines.

1911 - Hispano-Suiza moves to France, in Levallois-Perret, near Paris, and starts the design of luxury automobiles. The first model, boasting 15 HP, is named Alphonse XIII after its first owner, the King of Spain.

1914-1917
- Hispano-Suiza opens another plant near Paris, in Bois-Colombes, and supports the war effort by producing aircraft engines, especially for the SPAD VII flown by French ace Georges Guynemer. A cicogne (“stork”) drawn on his plane by an unknown artist during the liberation of Alsace will become the symbol of his squadron – and this emblem will soon be adopted by Hispano-Suiza in honor of the valiant pilots and their planes powered by the company’s engines.

1919
- At the Paris Auto Show, Hispano-Suiza introduces the elegant H6 32CV, nicknamed the “French Rolls Royce”.

1926
- Sadi Lecointre, flying a Nieuport-Delage with a 300-HP Hispano-Suiza engine, sets a new world speed record at 375 km/h (about 230 mph). Another plane makes a non-stop flight from Paris to Omsk, covering 4,700 kilometers (2,920 miles) in 29 hours.

1936
- Automobile manufacture comes to an end, as Hispano-Suiza concentrates on the production of aircraft engines and builds a wind tunnel in Bois-Colombes for engine testing.

1946
- After the war, Hispano-Suiza is determined to resume its business as an aircraft engine manufacturer. It acquires a license from Rolls-Royce to manufacture the Nene jet engine with centrifugal compressor (which will power the Mistral and Ouragan), followed by the Tay.

1949
- Based on the Tay, Hispano-Suiza develops a more powerful engine known as the Verdon. This engine will power the legendary Dassault Mystère IVA. Through 1970, Hispano-Suiza continues to develop a series of innovative solutions for the aviation, rail, naval and nuclear markets.

1958
- Hispano-Suiza makes a breakthrough in the industrial sector (gas turbines and turbochargers).

1968
- Hispano-Suiza joins Snecma, and its Bois-Colombes plant becomes a division of the company.

1970
- Hispano-Suiza is no longer an engine manufacturer, and stakes out a position as top-tier equipment supplier.

1977
- Hispano-Suiza merges with CNMP (Compagnie Normande de Mécanique de Précision). This Le Havre-based company had actually been working closely with Hispano-Suiza since 1969, to develop components for the CFM56.

1979
- Hispano-Suiza named prime contractor for production of transmission systems in the group. The Le Havre plant enters the thrust reverser business, making its first model in May 1979.

1980
- Production of first accessory gearboxes for the CFM56.

1984
- Hispano-Suiza selected as supplier of the thrust reverser for the A320, as well as accessory gearboxes and flex-shafts for the M88 engine powering the Rafale fighter.

1989 Hispano-Suiza chosen to design and produce the power transmission for the Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engine. Hispano-Suiza also wins a contract for the lubrication unit on the power transmission for the Tiger helicopter.

1991
- Delivery of the 5,000th CFM56 power transmission.

1993
- Delivery of the first power transmission systems for Trent 700 engines powering the A330.

1997
- Transfer of power transmission and Tyne parts production from Bois-Colombes to Colombes.

1999
- Hispano-Suiza starts production of precision mechanical parts for aircraft at a plant in Bezons, along with the design and production of turbochargers for diesel engines.

2001
- Aircelle selects Hispano-Suiza to develop the electrical actuation system, the first in the world, for the thrust reversers on the Trent 900 and GP7200 engines for the A380.

2002
- All engine control and power transmission system design, production and integration operations consolidated within Hispano-Suiza.
- Hispano-Suiza and BAE Systems create an equal joint venture, Fadec International.
- Construction of the Réau plant.
- Hispano-Suiza becomes prime contractor for the M88 control system.
- Hispano-Suiza transfers turbocharger business to Turbomeca.

2003
- Hispano-Suiza and BAE Systems supply the FADEC for the Engine Alliance GP7200 engine on the A380.
- Hispano-Suiza selected by Rolls-Royce to develop and produce the power transmission system for the BR710 engine powering the Bombardier Global 5000 bizjet.
- The FADEC electronic engine control made by Hispano-Suiza Canada is chosen along with the Pratt & Whitney 610 for the Eclipse 500 twin-engine business jet.
- Hispano-Suiza control system selected for the TP400 engine powering the A400M.

2004
- Hispano-Suiza delivers the 14,000th CFM56 power transmission.
- Hispano-Suiza selected to supply the complete SaM146 control system.
- Hispano-Suiza delivers the 1,000th Trent power transmission to Rolls-Royce.

2005
- Merger of Snecma and Sagem, creating the Safran group. Hispano-Suiza becomes a subsidiary of Safran, an international high-tech corporation. In July, Snecma Polska becomes a subsidiary of Hispano-Suiza and is renamed Hispano-Suiza Polska. This production plant produces gears for the company’s power transmissions.

2006
- Hispano-Suiza Canada, previously part of Messier-Dowty International, becomes a subsidiary of Hispano-Suiza. This company is specialized in the design, development and production of electronic control units for business aircraft.
- Delivery of 3,000th power transmission to Rolls-Royce.
- Eurocopter selects Hispano-Suiza to develop the accessory gearboxes for the main gearbox on the EC175.
- General Electric selects Fadec International for the development, production and support of the FADEC on the GEnx engine, intended for the Boeing 747-8 and 787.
- Hispano-Suiza selected by Rolls-Royce to design, develop, produce and support the power transmission for a new BR725 version of their business jet engine, for the G650.

2007
- First flight of the A380 on the Singapore-Sydney route, with successful service entry of the ETRAS electrical thrust reverser actuation system on the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines.
- The ETRAS system for the Engine Alliance GP7200 engine is also certified.

2008
- Delivery to Eurocopter of the first shipset of prototypes for the accessory gearboxes, to be used on tests of the main gearbox for the EC175 helicopter.
- Hispano-Suiza delivers to Rolls-Royce Deutschland the first accessory gearbox for the BR725 engine that will power the Gulfstream G650.
- Hispano-Suiza selected by Rolls-Royce to design, develop, produce and support the power transmission for the Trent XWB on the A350 XWB.

2009
- Hispano-Suiza is reorganized, and now includes the Power Transmissions division at Colombes, and a new division at Réau, Safran Power, for electronic power controllers and electrical systems.
- Delivery of the 20,000th power transmission for the CFM International CFM56 engine family.
- Successful first flights of the A400M, Boeing 787, Gulfstream G650 and EC175, all featuring engine or aircraft equipment developed by Hispano-Suiza.

2010
- Delivery of the first power transmission for the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine.