Musée Volant Salis
When Louis Blériot crossed the Channel in 1909, it set Jean-Baptiste Salis on the path to becoming an aviator. He went on to have a long career in aeronautics, finally creating his own aerodrome at Cerny. His dream was to turn it into an aeronautical museum. His son Jean made his father's dream a reality when he built up a collection of real operational aeroplanes, then brought together a number of associations (Amicale Jean-Baptiste Salis, Forteresse Toujours Volante, Memorial Flight and Les Casques de Cuir – Collection Salis) who shared the same passion, to create the Musée Volant Salis.
In the museum, a truly lifelike aviation mural depicts the adventures of men and their flying machines with around fifty different models. One area is specifically dedicated to World War One. In fact as early as 1914, military leaders realised that planes could be used to locate the enemy, and for the purposes of reconnaissance and telecommunications. But above all, they became aware that aeroplanes could be used as a weapon of war: firstly to drop bombs, then by the pilot carrying a pistol, and finally by putting weapons directly on the plane. Authentic French, German and British machines from this era are on display.
Among the collections, visitors can admire in particular a SPAD S.XIII, a French single-seater biplane. Recovered from a wreckage by Jean Salis in the 1970s, it took him four years to restore it to its former glory. The original fuselage and engine are still there but a lot of work was needed to create an identical model that was operational. Everything was rebuilt, checked and put together, and great care was taken to stick to the standards of the time. It is equipped with a reproduction Eclair propeller, based on an original propeller belonging to the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace. It flew again for the first time on 3rd May 1991, bearing the colours of Charles Henri Dolan, the last survivor of the La Fayette squadron. It is the only original Spad XIII which is operational anywhere in the world and the oldest known to this day.
Aérodrome de Cerny – La Ferté Alais
Tel.: +33(0)1 64 57 52 89