Safran Helicopter Engines celebrates 80th anniversary in China

12 September 2018, Beijing

In the presence of France's Ambassador to China Jean-Maurice Ripert, Safran Helicopter Engines Executive Vice-President, Programs Bruno Bellanger, Safran Helicopters Engines China Manager Bernard Plaza, and General Delegate for China and CEO of Safran China Philippe Bardol, the company has celebrated its 80th anniversary in the French Embassy in Beijing, with Chinese customers, partners and authorities.


More than a hundred guests were present at the celebration ceremony, witnessing on this special occasion the 80 years of entrepreneurship and unceasing innovation of the company originally known as Turbomeca, which is the only manufacturer dedicated exclusively to this market.

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Jean-Maurice Ripert, France's Ambassador to China

"Since 1938, Safran Helicopter Engines symbolizes the excellence of the French savoir-faire in aeronautics, the excellence that is deployed particularly in the production of engines for civil helicopters that perform public safety missions", said Jean-Maurice Ripert, adding that "this is an excellence made of un unfading tradition of quality, recognized by China for almost 40 years".

From the very beginning, the company history was closely aligned to that of the helicopter. In 1951, a Turbomeca turbo-generator powered the Ariel III, the world's first turbine helicopter. In 1955, its Artouste II powered the SE.3130 Alouette II, the first serially-produced turbine-engine helicopter in the world… Somewhere in the world, a Safran-powered helicopter takes off every nine seconds.

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Bruno Bellanger, Safran Helicopter Engines Executive Vice-President, Programs

"Our history is a cause for pride in all our team-members and it tells an exciting story of entrepreneurship, technological aerospace breakthrough and excellence in the fields of industrial products and services", said Safran Helicopter Engines Executive Vice-President, Programs Bruno Bellanger.


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Philippe Bardol, General Delegate for China and CEO of Safran China

Philippe Bardol, General Delegate for China and CEO of Safran China, when speaking of the origins of several companies before they formed Safran Group, pointed out that "these companies were a little like the start-ups of that time, led by men and women who were at the same time adventurers, entrepreneurs and inventors, people who were looking for a gigantic technological leap…! And just like start-up executives nowadays, these enthusiasts have quickly planned to go internationally, as evidenced by the first links between Safran and China that were established at the beginning of the 20th century."

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Safran Helicopter Engines can point to 40 years of cooperation with the Chinese aerospace industry. It dates back to the 1970s, when engines were delivered to power rotorcraft of the People's Liberation Army's Naval Air Force. Today, Safran Helicopter Engines China employs more than 30 people in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Shenzhen. With over 500 engines in operation, China represents a strategic market for Safran Helicopter Engines. Half of all Chinese-registered helicopters are equipped with Safran engines or licensed products.

Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aircraft propulsion and equipment, space and defense markets. Safran has a global presence, with more than 58,000 employees and sales of 16.5 billion euros in 2017. Working alone or in partnership, Safran holds world or European leadership positions in its core markets. Safran undertakes Research & Development programs to meet fast-changing market requirements, with total R&D expenditures of around 1.4 billion euros in 2017. Safran is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange, and is part of the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices. Including Zodiac Aerospace, acquired by Safran in February 2018, the Group has over 91,000 employees and would have around €21 billion in adjusted revenues (pro forma 2016). 

Safran China is a major player in the country's aviation markets spanning airplane and helicopter engines, landing gear, wheels and brakes. With the Group's presence in China dating back over a century, Safran China now encompasses more than 20 entities and 2,000 employees.

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