In 1936, French industry created the Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Sud-Ouest by merging six aviation companies, including Blériot (established in 1905) and Bloch (Marcel Dassault). The company built transport aircraft (i.e. the Bretagne), bombers (the Vautour), a fighter (the Trident) and helicopters.?
On May 10, 1936, Rohlfs accomplished the first autorotation landing in the history of the helicopter.
On June 26, 1936, test pilot Ewald Rohlfs performed the first flight lasting 26 seconds. Three flights later, the flight duration increased to16 minutes.?
In 1937, Heinrich Focke and Gerd Achgelis founded an aircraft company specialised in helicopters called Focke-Achgelis GmbH. The company is known for developing the FA330, a rotor kite that could be towed by a submarine to search for targets. After World War II, the company discontinued production until 1951, when they began producing gliders. In 1963, the company merged with Vereinigte Flugtechnische Werke (VFW).
In 1937, Pr. Focke, who had been dismissed from Focke-Wulf, teamed up with the pilot Gert Achgelis to create the firm Focke-Achgelis. Carl Bode became the new test pilot of this company.?
In the meantime, the famous aviator Hanna Reitsch took over flight demonstrations involving the Focke 61. In February 1938, a series of sensational flights took place in the Deutschlandhalle in Berlin.
On January 29, 1939, C. Bode climbed to an altitude of 3,4207 metres, beating Rohlfs' former record. The Focke 61 then retired with its last flight performed in December 1941.
The SO1100 used a Mathis G7 engine with a maximum power of 175 horsepower. After numerous tie-down tests, the first "free flight" occurred on 7 March 1949, piloted by Claude Dellys. However, the yaw control was insufficient and the carburetion system difficult to adjust.
However, several important modifications from this cancelled program led to the development of the Ariel II version.