George Messier

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George Louis René Jean Messier (born April 23, 1896 in Monts , Indre-et-Loire department , † January 23, 1933 in Rambouillet , Seine-et-Oise department ; partly also Georges Messier ) was a French engineer, inventor and industrialist. He is considered to be the founder of the industrial development and manufacture of aircraft landing gear .

life and work

Early years

George Messier was born on April 23, 1896 in Monts in the Indre-et-Loire department to the engineer André Hector Jean Louis Philippe Messier and his wife Marguerite Henriette Marcelle Raabe. His father was the director of the Le Ripault powder factory in Monts . He studied in Lille and Rennes . A planned participation in the entrance examination for the elite university École polytechnique in 1914 could not be realized because of health problems. During the First World War he worked in the chemical industry, where he was involved in the manufacture of explosives . Messier married Yvonne Lucie Bonnamy in Bordeaux on September 27, 1919.

1920–1926: Hydro-pneumatic suspensions and shock absorbers, automobile production

Messier passenger car

After the war he devoted himself to the development of suspensions and shock absorbers , first for automobiles and then for airplanes until his early accidental death . In 1920 he worked on the development of pneumatic and hydropneumatic shock absorbers and submitted his first patent applications in 1921. Having implemented similar systems with a group of employees and tested on automobiles, he founded in 1925 in the Paris suburb of Montrouge , the company Messier Automobiles , in August of the same year renamed Société anonyme de construction mécanique de la Seine , the lightweight cars with fully hydropneumatic suspension built. The vehicles marketed under the brand name Messier sans ressorts ("Messier without springs") had only moderate commercial success; about 150 copies were made.

1927–1933: aircraft landing gear; early death

Couzinet 70 from 1933 with Messier chassis

In 1927, Messier finally turned to aviation applications . Together with the engineer René Lucien , he founded the Société Française de Matériel d'Aviation on August 27, 1928 (according to other information already in 1927) , which from 1932 under the name Messier, le spécialiste du train d'atterrissage (“Messier, the specialist for aircraft landing gears ”). The company developed and sold complete chassis, in which innovations such as hydropneumatic shock absorbers and hydraulically actuated drum brakes were integrated. From 1929 hydraulically retractable trolleys were offered. Among the early 1930s with Messier landing gear equipped aircraft transport and passenger planes were Farman F.190 , Farman F.300 that 25-3R version of the Latécoère 25 , the Latécoère 28 and the military plane Potez 25 in version 25 A2 Coloniale and the Couzinet 70 mail plane .

On January 23, 1933, George Messier died at the age of 36 as a result of a riding accident in Rambouillet in the Seine-et-Oise department (now the Yvelines department ).

Messier's company after his death

Landing gear of the Airbus A400M from Messier-Dowty (2007)

After Messier's death, his widow and partner René Lucien continued to run the company. In 1937 (according to other information not until 1971) the Messier company merged with the aircraft landing gear division of Hispano-Suiza to form Messier-Hispano . In 1977 the company merged with Bugatti to form Messier-Hispano-Bugatti , and in 1990 it was renamed Messier-Bugatti . In 1994, the chassis divisions of Messier-Bugatti and Dowty were merged into the newly founded Messier-Dowty , while Messier-Bugatti continued to manufacture wheels, brakes and hydraulic systems. In 2011, Messier-Dowty merged with the sister company Messier-Bugatti to form Messier-Bugatti-Dowty and is now part of the Safran Group as Safran Landing Systems .

honors and awards

In Oloron-Sainte-Marie and neighboring Bidos in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department , streets are named after George Messier in the immediate vicinity of a Safran Landing Systems plant ; also a street in Montrouge , the first seat of his company, bears his name.

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f Gérard Hartmann: A fond de train: Un demi siècle d'histoire de l'industrie française du train d'atterrissage. (PDF; 2.14 MByte) In: February 2, 2007, accessed February 29, 2020 (French).
  2. a b c L'activité trains d'atterrissage de Safran souffle ses 90 bougies! In: September 20, 2017, accessed February 29, 2020 (French).
  3. a b Nº 5/1896 . In: Registre des actes de naissances de la commune de Monts - année 1896 . (French, digitized on ; Ref .: 6NUM8 / 159/007 - entry in the birth register).
  4. a b c d MESSIER, George (1896–1933). In: Digital Mechanism and Gear Library (DMG-Lib). Technical University of Ilmenau , accessed on February 29, 2020 (English, French).
  5. ^ Fondateur du groupe aeronautique Messier: L'ingénieur René Lucien est mort. In: . September 16, 1993, accessed February 29, 2020 (French).
  6. Rue Georges Messier in Oloron-Sainte-Marie  on OpenStreetMap
  7. ^ Avenue George Messier in Bidos  on OpenStreetMap
  8. Rue Georges Messier in Montrouge  on OpenStreetMap