Rallye History

SOCATA produced 3,500 Rallyes during the production run that spanned more than two decades, there is no mention of the  Rallye on the new, improved EADS SOCATA website. But there is a picture of a Rallye in their SOCATA photo gallery. Click on it for a view of a very peculiar item protruding through the windscreen. If you have ANY idea what this might be, drop us an email.

Read Rallye History: Flying Magazine Cover Story - 1973 - Pilot Report on the Minerva

Here is a brief history of the Rallye:

Or, the MS Rallye or SOCATA Rallye or PZL Koliber as the plane is variously known...

Morane Saulnier - was a French aviation company that began building planes in WWI and continued producing military aircraft through WWII.

Morane Saulnier needed a new market in the years following WWII when the demand for fighter aircraft dropped. In the  late 1950’s, in response to the French government’s call for developing a plane for the civilian general aviation market, Morane Saulnier designed the Rallye The Rallye won the competition for a safe trainer/tourer  and Morane Saulnier began manufacturing Rallyes. The company was subsequently absorbed by the French national aviation company SUD Aviation in 1965. The Society de Contruction de Tourisme et d'Affaires (SOCATA) was  formed in 1966. A subsidiary of Sud-Aviation, SOCATA, continued construction and development of the Morane-Saulnier Rallye and other existing aircraft. Aerospatiale, which brought together SUD Aviation, NORD  Aviation and SEREB, concentrated on commercial aircraft, military planes and space vehicles while SOCATA focused on the general aviation aircraft. A series of mergers and other rearrangments have resulted in SOCATA  now being a subsidiary of EADS/Aerospatiale, the French/Spanish/German aerospace giant. Can you say, “Airbus?”

The original Morane Saulnier M.S.880 made its first flight on June 10, 1959. The 2 seat (or 3 seat if everyone was trim)  aircraft, powered by a 100hp Continental O-200 went into production the following year, and became known as the Rallye-Club due to its intended market. A 105hp Potez powered version was known as the M.S.881. The  next in the series, the M.S.885 was uprated to 145hp Continental. Known as the Super Rallye, it first flew on January 1 1961. The M.S.890 Rallye Commodore with a 150hp Lycoming was the first four seat version. The  M.S.893 was intended as an agricultural aircraft, but was developed as a tourer instead with the 180hp O-360-A2A engine. A more powerful version, the 220hp Franklin 6A350-C1 powered MS 894A Rallye Minerva followed. The MS894E came out as a Franklin-powered upgrade of the 894A called the Minerva 220 GT. It featured yokes, a quadrant for engine controls and electric flaps..(Click here for the history of Franklin engines.) The Rallye 235 represents the end of the Rallye name series with its Lycoming O-540. 

SOCATA continued the construction and development of the Rallye through the Rallye 235. The Rallye name was discontinued  in1979, when SOCATA introduced new, more Gallic,names for the basic design. The SOCATA Galopin superseded the 110hp Avco Lycoming powered Rallye 110ST; the Garnement followed on from the Rallye 160 ST with a  Lycoming O-320 engine;  the Galerian mirrored the O-360 powered Rallye 180T intended for glider towing; the Galliard was the updated Rallye 180ST; and the Gabier the new name for the updated O-540 powered Rallye 235GT high performance STOL model. A military model of the Gabier, the Guerrier, is in use in several air forces.

When SOCATA decided to introduce its new product line in the late 1970s and replace the Rallyes with its “Island” series  of Trinidads, Tobagos and Tampicos, it licensed the Morane Saulner Rallye designs to PZL of Poland.

PZL . manufactured and marketed the design under the name “Koliber” - which is Polish for “hummingbird.”  PZL also acquired the manufacturing license for Franklin engines. A number of planes, including Cessna 172s are now STC’d for Franklins. The Franklins are no longer being manufactured by PZL.

The P.Z.L.110 is a license built version of the SOCATA Rallye 100ST. Powered by a license built Franklin 4A-235-B1, the  first flight of the Polish version was made on April 18, 1978. Intended as a 2-4 seat model, the aircraft was upgraded, and production amounted to 10 Series I, 25 Series II, and 45 Series III aircraft. In 1987 a new  version was proposed. Powered by a 150hp Lycoming O-320-E2A, this was known as the Koliber 150. This plane has been uprated to the Koliber 160. The prototype aircraft (SP-PHA) first flew on September 27, 1988. A  further development, the Koliber 235 (235hp Textron LycomingO-540-B4B5) was announced in 1991.