L'Hélica Marcel LEYAT

Marcel LEYAT exhibit


Meursault from may 16th to 24th 2009

Château de Cîteaux


Organized by « Les amis de l’hélica »

Association loi de 1901 / 56 avenue Riché / 37190 Azay le Rideau / mail

            The foundation aims to promote knowledge of the work of Marcel Leyat in general and his vehicle Helica in particular. It was established in 2004 to try to better understand and publicize the work of Marcel Leyat. We have collected and studied patents, automotive and aviation magazine of the time. At this stage it seemed that the research had been completed and that we do not ever know more. So far in 2005, a visit to Meursault, meeting, a rise in an attic and there, thousands of pages, hundreds of plans, parts!! This treasure was there for over 60 years and its state of preservation is amazing. It took us several years to sort, digitize, archive all these documents, and think about rebuilding an helica. Since then, every year, our association has organized an exhibition devoted to the work of Marcel Leyat:

 In 2007, Jeff Lane, benefactor member of our association, is undertaking the reconstruction of an helica 1919 version from plans found in 2005. This achievement has been presented for the first time at the 2009 exhibition in Meursault.

The « 1919/2009 » helica underway


The attic of Meursault at its discovery in 2005, inside these documents were all plans for building a1919 helica and parts of the hélicocycle of 1913. This discovery was the starting point for rebuilding helica which has been presented at the exhibition in 2009 Meursault


Meursault exhibit from may 16th to 24th 2009


            Propeller powered cars are very rare, most manufacturers have attempted to achieve remained at the prototype stage. Marcel Leyat is the only one in the world to have produced and marketed series of such vehicles. Of the 23 cars produced by Marcel Leyat, two cars of 1921 remain, one museum in Paris CNAM, the other belongs to a private collector. That seemed to be the only evidence of the work of Marcel Leyat.

Documents relating to the achievements of Marcel Leyat, parts of its vehicles appeared missing. Since our discovery in Meursault, we have specific documentation, plans, car parts and aircraft parts made by Marcel Leyat. All these elements will be exposed to Meursault.

At this exhibition have been exhibited for the first time since their discovery in 2005 parts of the hélicocycle 1913, a front part of an 1921 helica body, parts of planes. These pieces have never been seen since the years 20, everyone thought lost forever.

The highlight of the exhibition has been the presentation of the 1919 helica, rebuilt by Jeff Lane accorded to the plans found in Meursault. This helica is fully compliant to the helica produced at the time. This is a unique achievement in the world. No 1919 helica has been seen since 1919!

We will also during this exhibition presenting the work of Jean-Luc Chanel and its prototype "Leyel." A vision of the car, using the principles dear to Leyat.

Pics and videos of the exhibit:

Thechâteau de Citeaux ready for the exhibit

The majestic staircase

The first plans, an invitation to come and see...

All documents shown.

The trailer and its precious cargo

A dream place to expose the body in progress

Parts of the 1919 prototyp

Parts of the 1913 Helicocycle

Propellers, on the left, the fronyt part of the Notary Carmaniolle's 1921 Helica

Jean-Luc Chanel, prototyps and models


Ready to start

The engine cowl removed for a spring problem

What beauty! The painting is not made, but the Helica is functional for the show, thank you Jeff!!

Carbon propeller, a bit anachronistic, but very efficient

Everything ready

Jeff driving at the Damy barrels company

An Helica on the Meursault streets, not seen since more than 60 years.

Jeff Lane, mister Ghio and myself Claude Guéniffey.

The Helica is back to the Carmaniolle notary house.

Jeff after his test run on a small road in the vineyards .... um, have we the right ?.... uh, well we took it.

The start-up team who worked 2 times daily for 10 days to start the Helica :
Jean, to pull the cable to start the engine,
Jean to adjust the inlet air
Pierre to feed the carburettor with starting fluid
Claude to drive

It runs!!!!!

One or two laps aroud the castle

Behind the castle in front of the wineyards...

And the roses.

Coming back to the starting point

video 1

video 2

video 3

video 4

video 5


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