The SOCATA MS.893E Rallye Commodore 180GT is a single-engined, all-metal, four-seater, low-wing airplane with a conventional tail and fixed tricycle landing gear.
The MS.893E Rallye Commodore 180GT is powered by a 180 hp Lycoming O-360-A3A engine. The aircraft is a further development of the basic MS-880 Ralley three seater
that flew first on 10 June 1959. The MS-880 Ralley was designated Rallye 180 and further redesignated SOCATA Gaillard or
SOCATA Galérien (glider towing version). SA des Aéroplanes Morane-Saulnier was established in 1911 and had a long history
of designing and building aeroplanes. In response to a late 1950s French government competition for a light aircraft,
Morane Saulnier designed the Ralley, an all-metal side-by-side two-seat low-wing aircraft with fixed
tailwheel undercarriage. The prototype, the MS.880 F-WJDM powered by a 90 hp Continental C90-14F
engine, made its first flight on 10 June 1959. A second prototype, the MS.880A F-WJSE with swept fin
and 3-seats in a larger cockpit, was flown first on 12 February 1961. The Ralley entered production
as the MS-880B Ralley Club, after a definitive prototype, the MS-880B F-WJSF with a tricycle
undercarriage and powered by a 100 hp Continental O-200-A engine, was flown first on 24 May 1961.
Ralley production built up rapidly and next to the MS.880B Ralley Club, the MS.885 Super Ralley,
fitted with a 145 hp Continental O-300-A engine, entered full-scale production. By the end of 1962
the pressure of expansion of the successful Ralley family into high volume production had caused the
company to run into financial problems. Morane-Saulnier filed a bankruptcy petition on 19 November 1962
and on 6 January 1963 management control of the company passed into the hands of the
Etablissements Henri Potez. The company was reorganised and known as the Société d'Exploitation des
Etablissements Morane-Saulnier (S.E.E.M.S.). On 20 May 1965 the management of the company was taken
over by Sud-Aviation and the company was renamed in Gerance des Etablissements Morane-Saulnier
(G.E.M.S.). In 1966 Morane-Saulnier finally disappeared as the company became a full subsidiary of
Sud-Aviation with the new title Société de Construction d'Avions de Tourisme et d'Affaires (SOCATA).
In spite of the financial problems and management changes the Ralley design was developed further
and became Europe's most successful light aircraft. In 1964, the four-seat MS.890 Commodore with
heavier airframe was introduced and after the prototype, the MS.890A Ralley Commodore F-WJSG powered
by a 145 hp Continental O-300-B engine was flown first, this model entered, next to the MS.880B, full
scale production in 1964. Developments of the Commodore included the MS.893 Ralley Commodore 180,
which was intended as an agricultural aircraft, but was developed as a tourer instead with the 180hp
Lycoming O-360-A2A engine. The name Ralley was continued for the developments of the basic design
until 1979, when SOCATA introduced new names to the developments. More than 3500 airframes of the
Ralley design were built by Morane-Saulnier; S.E.E.M.S; G.E.M.S. and SOCATA when the production in
France ceased in 1983. The Ralley concept continued for some years in production in Poland with PZL as
On 5 March 1973, SOCATA MS.893E Rallye Commodore 180GT s/n 12180 was registered F-BUCN in France.
On 20 June 1973, regsitration F-BUCN was cancelled as exported to Germany, where it was registered D-EKUN. On 16 October 2019,
the in January 1973-built SOCATA MS.893E Rallye Commodore 180GT D-EKUN was seen at Bohmte-Bad Essen airfield in Germany.