90 years of aeronautical engineering in Saint-Nazaire
Did you know that Saint-Nazaire was a pioneer town of aeronautical engineering? Planes of one sort or another –from seaplanes to Airbus via Caravelle and Concorde- have been built here for more than 80 years. The first planes were built in the early 1920’s, when shipyard engineers, facing one of the countless crises shipbuilding went through at the time, decided to put their technology and know-how into the building of planes. At the time, seaplanes were the most frequent type. Military planes were made in the 1930’s; after the war the production was quite diversified between military (Vautour) and civilian (Caravelle) aircrafts. In the 1960’s, the Saint-Nazaire site built parts of the legendary Concorde.
Airbus was created in 1970 and took over the factory which has been delivering Airbus planes ever since. The evolution is quite impressive: in the 1970’s, there was approximately one plane delivered from the factory every year; in the 1980’s, a plane per month; in the 90’s, a plane per week; and today 2 planes (1.9 to be precise)… every day!