SNECMA Atar

SNECMA Atar

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SNECMA Atar

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Description:
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The SNECMA Atar is a French axial-flow turbojet engine built by Snecma. It was derived from the German World War II BMW 003 design, but extensively developed though a progression of more powerful models. The name is derived from its original design group, Atelier Technique Aéronautique Rickenbach. The Atar powered many of the French post-war jet aircraft, including the Vautour, Étendard and Super Étendard, Super Mystère and several models of the Mirage.

History

Background

Herman Őstrich's team in charge of the development of the BMW 003 engine had moved to the town of Stassfurt, near Magdeburg, in February 1945. An underground production factory was being set up in a salt mine outside town by C.G. Rheinhardt in a desperate attempt to continue engine production in face of the now overwhelming Allied air campaign. This mine is well known historically as it was also being used for the storage of uranium compounds as part of the Nazi atomic bomb program.

The town of Stassfurt surrendered to US forces on 12 April 1945, and Őstrich hid much of the technical data in a local cemetery. The next day a ten-man team made up primarily of engineers from Pratt & Whitney arrived, and he handed the data over to them. Production re-started for US use while the war ground to a...
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