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La societé industrielle d'aviation Latécoère
Forges et Ateliers de Construction Latecoere
Ateliers Aeronautiques de Toulouse

The Forges et Ateliers de Construction Latecoere began its interest in aviation in 1917 with an aircraft works at Toulouse-Montaudron. In 1917 P-G Latécoère turned from making munitions to licence-building aircraft for the Aviation Militaire Française. Total wartime production amounted to 800 licenced Breguet XIV and Salmson 2A.2 2-seat reconaissance bomber biplanes.

The experimental Latecoere 1 two-seat fighter of 1918 was unsuccessful and the company concentrated for a period on licence manufacture of the Salmson 2 reconnaissance biplane, over 800 of which were built. Latecoere showed an aircraft at the 1919 Paris Salon, and another two, the LAT 4 airliner and LAT 6 bomber, in 1921. The Societe Industries d'Aviation was formed in 1922. From 1925 Latecoere developed an airline to South America and built a series of commercial aircraft for this route. Part of the Toulouse factory went to SNCAM in 1936. Developed a series of bomber aircraft (L.28, L.29) and torpedo-carrying floatplanes, the L.290 and L.298, the latter in service in 1939-1940. Some LeO flying-boats also built. In the 1930s developed a number of two- and four-engined commercial flying-boats, culminating in the six-engined L.521 Lieutenant de Vaisseau Paris of 1938 and L.631 of 1939.
Construction of the latter was interrupted by the war, but four were eventually completed by Breguet and used on commercial routes in the Mediterranean until 1948. The firm was sequestered in 1945 under the name of Ateliers Aeronautiques de Toulouse, but returned to the original owners and name in 1947.

The Compagnie Latécoère had numerous aviation related divisions located around Toulouse including: the Lignes Aeriennes Latécoère and CGEA (Cie Generale d’Entreprises Aeronautiques). The Lignes Aeriennes Latécoère may explain why earlier designations are often shown as LAT-xx rather than Laté-xx (as well as the SILAT acronym).

 - 1918: Société des lignes Latécoère or Lignes Aeriennes Latécoère (LAT)

 - 1918: Compagnie Espagne Maroc Algerie (CEMA) P-G Latécoère & Beppo de Massimi

 - 1919: CEMA renamed Lignes Aériennes Latécoère (LAT)
 - 1921: LAT renamed Compagnie Générale d'Entreprises Aéronautiques (CGEA)

 - 1927: Marcel Latécoère sells CGEA majority shares to Marcel Bouilloux-Lafont

 - 1927: Marcel Bouilloux-Lafont founds Compagnie Générale Aéropostale (CGA)
 -- NB: Aéropostale assoc. with Latécoère but not owned by Compagnie Latécoère

 - March 1931: Compagnie Générale Aéropostale declared bankrupt

 - 1932: Aéropostale dissolved by French government and merged with SCELA
 -- SCELA: Société Centrale pour l'Exploitation de Lignes Aériennes

 - Aug 1933: Aéropostale officially merged with SCELA to become Air France

The Latécoère corporate identity went through three major changes between 1917 and the beginning of WWII.

 - 1917: Forges et Ateliers de Construction Latécoère building aircraft

 - 1922: name changed to Société Industrielle d’Aviation Latécoère (SIDAL)
 -- Acronym later SILAT for clipped-form Société Industrielle LATécoère

 - End 1936: Latécoère nationalized (to be combined with Dewoitine as SCNAM)

 - 1937: Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Midi (SCNAM)


Pierre-Georges Latécoère died on 23 Aug 1943.










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