Societe d'Etudes Aeronautiques
Founded in 1916 as Societe d'Etudes Aeronautiques at Aubevillers. Made series of two-seat biplanes, notably SEA 4 reconnaissance aircraft and SEA 7, the latter a "limousine" first flown December 1919. Built a two-seat tractor biplane, the Type 4C.2.
Post-war the company became known as Henry Potez and established itself as a major French aircraft manufacturer with a long series of civil and military aircraft.
In France, the Socialist Government of the so-called Popular Front brought all the companies building military aircraft, aero engines and armament under its control in 1936. The immediate result was the socialized oblivion of such established companies as Marcel Bloch, Bleriot, Nieuport, Potez, Dewoitine, Hanriot and Farman within half a dozen nationalized groups or Societies Nationales, named according to their geographical location (Nord, Ouest, Centre, Midi and so on).
In 1937 Potez, with Liore-et-Olivier, and Romano, became part of the nationalized French aircraft industry in the SNCAN group.
At that time it was producing the 56 twin-engine light transport, the 63 fighter-bomber and the Potez-CAMS 141 four-engine reconnaissance flying-boat, together with prototypes of the 661 12-passenger four-engine monoplane and the Potez-CAMS 160 six-engine flying-boat, a scale model of the proposed Type 161 transatlantic flying-boat.
For 16 years the company was not involved in aviation, but in 1953 produced the Potez 75 single-engine twin-boom ground-attack aircraft, built by SNCAN. A contract for 500 for the French Army was awarded in 1956, but was canceled later because of military cutbacks.
Took over Air-Fouga in 1958, and continued production of that company's Magister jet trainer. Built two prototype turboprop transports, Potez 840, flying first in 1961. Proposed versions were 841 with PT6A engines and 842 with Astazou Xs, but production did not proceed beyond six aircraft. Also built Paris III twin-jet executive aircraft developed by Morane-Saulnier. Potez was absorbed by Sud Aviation in 1967, which in turn became part of Aerospatiale in 1970.