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  • SOCATA (Morane-Saulnier) Rallye family




    The SOCATA Rallye (English: Rally) is a light aircraft that was manufactured by French aviation company SOCATA.

    General Information

     It was originally developed during the 1950s by French aircraft manufacturer Morane-Saulnier as the MS.880.


    On 10 June 1959, the prototype Rallye conducted the type's maiden flight; on 21 November 1961, type certification for the first production versions of the aircraft, designated as the MS.880B and more powerful MS.885, was awarded. Successive models of the Rallye were developed and manufactured; changes typically involved the installation of more powerful engines, structural strengthening, and the expansion of some of the flight control surfaces, culminating in the MS.890 Rallye Commodore series with higher gross weight and seating for four. As part of efforts to access the lucrative North American market, distributor agreements were formed with multiple US-based companies, such as the Waco Aircraft Company and BFA Aviation, to market, sell, and service the Rallye. These efforts, while not being trouble-free, provided valuable sales of the type.


    The SOCATA Rallye is a single-engined, low-wing monoplane light aircraft, capable of STOL (short takeoff and landing) performance. While not considered by some to be a highly aesthetic vehicle, the Rallye is considered to be sound and functional aircraft; efforts were made upon later-built aircraft to improve the type's visual appeal and to clean up the exterior. Composed of all metal construction, it is typically outfitted with a fixed tricycle landing gear, complete with an offset free-castering nosewheel and relatively closely spaced main gear; however, an alternative landing gear configuration is used upon the 235 C model, which was provisioned with fixed tailwheel landing gear instead. Unusually, the landing gear of the Rallye is articulated in order to better withstand the sharp forces that are imposed during STOL landings. Flying Magazine noted that the Rallye is "a very nice-landing aircraft".


    For more information on the development, design and operational history, as well as the 33 variants with differing engine installations, and built under licence in a number of countries, click here.


    With so many variants and models, there are a number of websites with specifications of a number of models. The specifications below are for the 180 GT model.





    SOCATA Rallye Commodore F-GPAU.jpg

    SOCATA Rallye Commodore SE-FSA.jpg

    SOCATA Rallye Commodore SP-DAS.jpg

    SOCATA Rallye Commodore tailwheel.jpg


    Crew: one Capacity: three passengers
    7.24 m (23 ft 9 in)
    9.74 m (31 ft 11 in)
    2.8 m (9 ft 2 in)
    Wing Area:
    12.3 sq m (132 sq ft)
    Wing Loading:
    85.4 kg/sq m (17.5 lb/sq ft)
    Empty Weight:
    570 kg (1,257 lb)
    1,050 kg (2,315 lb)
    1 × Lycoming O-360-A3A 4-cylinder air-cooled horizontally-opposed piston engine, 134 kW (180 hp)
    Maximum speed: 240 km/h (150 mph, 130 kn)
    Cruise Speed:
    225 km/h (140 mph, 121 kn)
    Stall Speed:
    92 km/h (57 mph, 50 kn)
    1,300 km (810 mi, 700 nmi)
    Rate of Climb:
    3.85 m/s (758 ft/min)
    Service Ceiling:
    3,600 m (11,800 ft)

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