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Gnome/Le Rhne

Engines The Company
Model Military Number Name
1912 Lambda1    
c.1916 9J2    
c.1917 9N1    
1 Gnome
2 Le Rhne
The Gnome rotary engine took the aviation world by storm in 1909 with its light weight (60 kg) and power (34 hp).  Le Rhne produced its first rotary engine in 1910.  These two companies merged in 1915 and improved the rotary engine through World War I.

After the War Gnome-Rhne re-focused its efforts on radial engines, at first by license building Bristol products.  Gnome-Rhne formed the basis of SNECMA after World War II.


1892: Louis and Laurent Seguin begin making petrol engines.  They acquire a license to produce the Gnome gas engine from Oberursel.

1909: The Seguin brothers introduce their first production aircraft engine, the rotary Gnome Omega engine.

1910: Louis Verdet designs his own rotary aicraft engine.

1912: Louis Verdet establishes the Societe des Moteurs Le Rhne.

1915: Gnome buys out its rival Le Rhne to form the Societe des Moteurs Gnome et Rhne.  Through World War I, the two companies retain their separate identities.

1921: Gnome-Rhne begins its successful program of building Bristol engines, then improving them.

1945: Gnome-Rhne vanishes into the nationalized group Societe Nationale d'Etudes et de Construction de Moteurs d'Aviation (SNECMA).

Related Websites
Go to the SNECMA website

page updated 27 August 2003



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Kenneth W Shanaberger 2000 - 2010