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founders of eca group


In particular, we owe much to Marcel Gianoli, as before creating ECA in 1936, he participated in the design, construction and development of the first “Arc-en-ciel” (Rainbow) aircraft.

Indeed, in 1927, René Couzinet, an aeronautics engineer, studied, alone, using paper, a ruler, a compass, a pencil and maybe a powerful slide rule made from wood, a three-engine airplane 27 meters long resembling a swallow and destined to cross the North Atlantic. In less than 9 months, between July 27 and March 28, with an insignificant amount of capital (approximately 26,000 US$ at that time), René Couzinet, assisted by engineer Marcel Gianoli, had this extraordinary airplane built by the personnel of the Letord aircraft manufacturing company in Meudon, France.

By now you know that this plane was the first Arc-en-ciel aircraft.


Arc-en-Ciel aircraft crew

The entire crew which took place onboard the Arc-en-Ciel aircraft to realize test flights.


Marcel Gianoli was also onboard the plane when it had a terrible accident in 1928. On August 8, 1928, during a final test flight, the aircraft crashed while René Couzinet was watching. Marcel Gianoli was one of the two people who survived (with multiple hip fractures) of the four people onboard.


“Arc-en-Ciel” aircraft just after the crash which caused the death of two members of the crew

A picture of the “Arc-en-Ciel” aircraft just after the crash which caused the death of two members of the crew.


A few years later, a new Arc-en-ciel was built and flown by the French aviator Jean Mermoz who made it famous when he accomplished the first non-stop flight from Paris to Buenos Aires and back again between January and May 1933.


The aircraft landing in Buenos Aires during the Atlantic crossing in 1933

The landing in Buenos Aires on the 22th January 1933, during the Atlantic crossing.


This was for Marcel Gianoli one of his first opportunities to prove his creative and inventive spirit that he showed throughout his lifetime. Paul Rozycki was also among those who worked closely with René Couzinet during his adventures.

As an anecdote, Marcel Gianoli later worked on Éric Tabarly’s Pen Duick by implementing a windvane gear system using all the company’s skills in navigation and aerodynamics.

Later, starting in the 1960s, Marcel Gianoli and Paul Rozycki began to think about the future of ECA after their retirement. This is how Henri Rozycki (also an engineer from the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures) became co-manager after his father, Paul, retired in 1961. Then in 1965, Alain Chaverebière de Sal (a graduate of France's École Polytechnique, a maritime engineer) assumed the position of managing director and also became co-manager after Henri Rozycki retired in 1966.

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