In the 1960-70’s, Michel Devaud was chief of research and manufacturing at an engine development company in Switzerland. There he successfully developed a range of race car engines used in the CanAm and F5000 series for teams such as McLaren, Lola, etc.
Michel and a colleague began building their own aircraft (a Jodel) in 1959 before even becoming a pilot. Needing an airfield to fly their aircraft, they founded the Gruyère aerodrome in 1962. He also organized an aviation engine overhaul department in order to overhaul his aircraft engine and those of others.
In 1976, Michel opened his own aircraft maintenance and engine overhaul facility: Mecanair SA. Mecanair performed maintenance on a wide range of light aircraft, warbirds and vintage airplanes such as Spitfire, AT-6, Wildcat, Bücker, Tiger Moth, etc. Mecanair also developed several STCs for engine and propeller type conversions, as well as for exhaust improvements and noise reduction mods, many of which are still actively used today.
In 2003, Michel’s son, Patrick Devaud, became the new Director of Mecanair. With over 10 years of experience as a licensed aircraft mechanic and having a specialization in engines, Patrick was ready to help bring Mecanair into the 21st century.