Eric Masse, Aircelle’s Vice President of Engineering
Nexcelle benefits from the skills and capabilities of the employee teams at its two parent companies: Safran Nacelles and GE Aviation’s Middle River Aircraft Systems. The following article is part of a series of profiles on the unique personalities that are shaping Nexcelle’s role in the future of integrated propulsion systems.
December 14, 2010
Eric Masse’s passion for aviation covers a full spectrum, from his day job as Vice President of Engineering at Aircelle to his hobby of flying radio-controlled scale model airplanes and helicopters.
This interest in model aircraft goes back to Masse’s youth, when he began building hand-launched gliders at the age of 11. Four years later, the birthday gift of a radio-controlled model from his parents started a hobby that has continued for more than three decades.
In his professional career, Masse has been involved in the jet propulsion sector since graduating from France’s SUPAERO aerospace institute in 1988. Hired by Snecma – which, along with Aircelle is part of the Safran group parent company – he began as a designer for the CFM56-5C jet engine’s fan and compressor. CFM56 engines are produced by the highly successful CFM International joint venture of Safran and GE, on which Nexcelle is patterned.
It was at this mid-phase of Masse’s career that work posed a challenge to his hobby. After participating in flying competitions for radio-controlled aircraft beginning in the late 1980s, he made it to the French championship level. However, Masse was not able to compete in the finals, as he was sent to California for certification flight tests of the CFM-56C engine.
His subsequent career experience included systems engineering and design work on Snecma’s military jet engines, followed by an assignment to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he worked on the Snecma contribution to GE’s high-thrust GE90 jet engine for the Boeing 777.
Masse says he still enjoys flying radio-controlled scale models when time permits, with his inventory including both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. The helicopter appeals to Masse because of the challenges in operating such a platform – which is probably why he recalls with fondness the two jet-powered radio-controlled aircraft he built with friends, which he said had “very spirited performance and speed.”
With his broad professional background, Masse said being associated with the Nexcelle joint venture provides an excellent opportunity to open a new chapter in the jet engine propulsion sector.
“Developing Aircelle’s new cooperative relationship with a world-class partner such as Middle River Aircraft Systems is extremely exciting, and we feel this new joint venture has an important role to play in introducing the integrated propulsion system concept to the aviation industry,” he said.