Thursday, October 16, 2008

Auguste Morel 1921-1974

Auguste Morel

Auguste Morel joined the Aéronavale as a student pilot in Great Britain in 1945.

His career began at the delivery and convoy section of the Aéronavale, which he left in January 1952 for the SNECMA engine manufacturer. He got his test pilot licence at the end of a training course at the CEV (Centre des Essais en Vol) in 1953.

His job at SNECMA was to test fly the company engines, and in doing so he flew a large number of different test-bed aircraft (from Meteor to Armagnac , including Dassault fighters). He made the first trial flight of a vectored thrust device conceived by the engineer Jean Bertin, first installed on a Vampire in 1952. At Melun-Villaroche, he specialised in VTO and was at the controls of the “Atar Volant” C 400 P2, on May 14, 1957 for its first flight, successfully demonstrating it at the LE Bourget Salon in 1957. He began testing the “Coléoptère” (SNECMA C 450) on 8th May 8 1959, but on the ninth flight on July 25th 1959 (the aircraft had by then flown about 20 flight hours but hadn’t yet made the transition to horizontal flight) just before attempting transition he lost control. He managed to eject fifteen meters from the ground, but was badly injured. The accident put en end to his test flying career