Corps Technique de l’Air

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Section d’entraînement des corps techniques (SECT – Training Section for Technical Specialism), or Corps Technique de l’Air (CTA), was a pre-WW2 training school for training aircrews for airline operations. Very little appears to have been written about this organisation. It was probably a unit of the French Air Ministry, established in the early 1930s and disbanded at the outbreak of WW2. CT- codes go up to at least 54, so the training aircraft fleet must have been fairly substantial.

Key Dates

14 September 1928    Air Ministry first established.
1933?    SECT first established.
1940    SECT disbanded.

Current Status

The SECT was disbanded at the start of WW2.

Future Plans

Not applicable.

Markings

Special Markings

SECT aircraft often operated in a natural metal finish with rudders stripes in the national colours and air force style roundels on the wings. No service titles wwere carried.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

SECT aircraft appear to have carried fuselage codes or serials prefixed by CT (for Corps Technique), eg. Farman F.290 CT-15, in addition to their regular French civil registrations which were carried on the wings.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Caudron C.634 Simoun 1 1939 1940 France
Caudron C.635M Simoun 9 1939 1940 France
Farman F.290 1 1933 1934 France
Morane Saulnier MS.343 ? 19?? 19?? France
Peyret-Mauboussin PM XI 1 19?? 19?? France

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

unknown.

Organisational Structure

All aircraft were operated by the SECT.

Current Unit Assignments

Not applicable

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

Air bases used are unknown.

More Information

Books

To be added.

Magazines

To be added.

Websites

Le Farman 190
Air History F-register

Additional information is welcome.

INSU

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) is the French national scientific research centre. It was first established in 1939. In 1967 the Institut national d’astronomie et de géophysique (INAG – National Astronomy and Geophysics Institute) was founded. In 1985 the INAG was reorganised as the Institut national des sciences de l’Univers (INSU – National Institute of Sciences in the Universe).

The INAG and later the INSU have designed and installed the sensors and equipment used on several aircraft used for French science programmes, primariy for Atmospheric Research and Remote Sensing. These include the Aero Commander 680FL and Hurel-Dubois H.D.34 of the IGN, the Metro IV and Fokker F27-700 of the Meteo-France ARAT project, and the Falcon 20 of CNES. It does not have any aircraft of its own.

The CNRS-INSU is also heavily involved in the SAFIRE project for Airborne Environment Research, which uses instrumentation provided by INSU.

Key Dates

19 October 1939    CNRS first established.
1967    INAG created.
1985    INAG renamed INSU.

Current Status

The INSU has no aircraft of its own.

Future Plans

No plan known.

Markings

Special Markings

Not applicable.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Not applicable.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Not applicable.

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

CNRS-INSU, Campus Gérard Mégie, 3 rue Michel-Ange, 75016 Paris.

Organisational Structure

All aircraft are operated by the IGN, Meteo-France or CNES.

Current Unit Assignments

Not applicable

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

Not applicable.

More Information

Books

French Aviation Bibliography – to be added

Magazines

No feature articles known.

Websites

wikipedia: CNRS
INSU official website
Ancien Avions
SAFIRE

Any further photographs illustrating this organisation would be welcome.

DGA Essais en Vol

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The organisation now known as the DGA Essais en Vol, was formerly called the Centre d’Essais en Vol (CEV). It was first established in 1944 as the national flight test centre for aeronautical weapons and aircraft prior to their use for military or civilian purposes. It operates on similar lines to the RAE (now Qinetiq) in Britain. It’s work includes evaluation and certification of all civil and military government owned aircraft, and developmental testing of new aircraft, weapons and systems. The CEV also includes the EPNER (Ecole du Personnel Navigant d’Essais et de Réception) test pilots school.

Key Dates

1944    CEV first established.
1946    EPNER frist established.
2009    CEV renamed DGA Essais en Vol.

Current Status

DGA Essais en Vol aircraft are used for the testing and development of aircraft, systems and weapons.

Future Plans

No plan known.

Markings

Special Markings

Combat aircraft operating with the DGA/CEV normally retained their service markings, often with the addition of areas of orange high-visibility paint. Second line aircraft currently wear an overall white colour scheme with a dark blue fuselage cheatline and areas of orange on the fin and wingtips. An air force-style national roundel appears on the rear fuselage. The titles DGA ESSAIS EN VOL are shown on the fuselage sides. A three-digit fleet number is displayed vertically on the rudder.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

DGA/CEV aircraft carry military serials or French civil registrations in the sequence F-Zxxx, e.g. MS.760 Paris F-ZJNB.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

DGA Essais en Vol, BA 125 Istres-Le Tubé, 13804 – ISTRES CEDEX.

Organisational Structure

The CEV had four main bases:
Bretigny-sur-Orge – prototype testing, aircraft equipment, radar and radios.
Istres/Le Tube – prototypes, helicopters, powerplants, simulators, test pilots school.
Melun-Villaroche – specialism not known.
Cazaux – armament.

Bretigny and Melun and now closed.

Current Unit Assignments

Not applicable

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

EPNER

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

All aircraft are now based at Cazaux and Istres.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

The CEV had four main bases: Bretigny-sur-Orge, Istres-Le Tube, Melun-Villaroche and Cazaux.

More Information

Books

French Military Aviation by Paul A. Jackson (Midland Counties, 1979)
European Air Forces Directory 2012/13 (Mach III)

Magazines

World Air Power Journal No.10 p.157

Websites

wikipedia.fr: DGA Essais en Vol
École du personnel navigant d’essais et de réception
La DGA Essais en Vol, ou le renouveau du célèbre CEV
Historique

Any further photographs illustrating this air arm would be welcome.

French National Flight School

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

A national flying school organisation was first established in 1946 under the name Service de l’Aviation Légère et Sportive (SALS). It reported to the French Civil Aviation Authority, which was then called the Secrétariat général à l’Aviation civile et commerciale (SGACC). At first the organisation included glider pilot training and skydiving, but as the French economy revived after WW2 these activities were left to private clubs. SALS went through a whole series of name changes until 1993 when it finally settled on the title Service d’Exploitation de la Formation Aéronautique (SEFA). In January 2011 SEFA was merged into the École nationale de l’aviation civile (ENAC), a French university that specialises in training people for the aviation industry. It thus ceased to exist.

Key Dates

1946    Service de l’Aviation Légère et Sportive (SALS) first established.
1955    SALS becomes the Service de la Formation Aéronautique et des Sports Aériens (SFASA).
1959    SFASA renamed Service de la Formation Aéronautique, du Travail Aérien et des Transports (SFATAT).
1964    SFATAT renamed Service de la Formation Aéronautique (SFA).
1976    SFA renamed Service de la Formation Aéronautique et du Contrôle Technique (SFACT).
1993    SFACT renamed Service d’Exploitation de la Formation Aéronautique (SEFA).
1 Janaury 2011    SEFA merged with ENAC.

Current Status

The SEFA was merged with ENAC in January 2011 and no longer exists as a separate entity.

Future Plans

Not applicable.

Markings

Special Markings

SEFA aircraft operate in an overall white colour scheme with a medium blue fuselage cheatline and areas of high-visibility orange on the nose, tail, wingtips and belly. The DGAC blue bird logo normally appears on the fin. The DGAC logo is carried just forward of the cockpit, with small service titles DIRECTION GENERAL DE L’AVIATION CIVILE.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

SEFA aircraft carried French civil registrations, e.g. TB.10 Tobago F-GJXV.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Beech 58 Baron ? ?? ?? USA
Cessna 310 ? ?? ?? USA
Diamond DA-42 Twin Star ? ?? 2010 Austria
Diamond DA-40 Diamond Star ? ?? 2010 Austria
Jodel D-140R ? ?? ?? France
Mudry CAP-10 ? ?? ?? France
Robin R-2160 ? ?? ?? France
SOCATA TB.10 Tobago ? ?? 2010 France
SOCATA TB.20 Trinidad 4? ?? 2010 France
Beech Super King Air 200GT ? ?? 2010 USA
Stampe SV-4C ? ?? ?? France

(Additional information is welcome).

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

SEFA, rue de l’Aviation, BP 30080. Muret Cedex 31603. France.

Organisational Structure

Aircraft and gliders were operated by individual flight training sections around the country.

Current Unit Assignments

Not applicable

Historical Unit Assignments

To be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

Beynes (gliding)
Biscarosse.
Challes-les-Eaux (gliding)
Château-Arnoux-Saint-Auban
Carcassonne
Castelnaudary
Grenoble
Melun
Montpelier
Muret
Pont-Saint-Vincent (gliding)
Saint-Yan

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

The SEFA had bases for gliding (Challes-les-Eaux, Beynes, Pont-Saint-Vincent, etc.), powered flight (Carcassonne in 1945, Saint-Yan in 1947), and skydiving (Biscarosse in 1953). Bases in 2010 were: Château-Arnoux-Saint-Auban, Carcassonne, Castelnaudary, Muret, Montpellier, Grenoble, Biscarosse, Saint-Yan and Melun, France.

More Information

Books

French Aviation Bibliography – to be added

Magazines

No feature articles known.

Websites

wikipedia: SEFA

Any further photographs illustrating this air arm would be welcome.

French Civil Aviation Authority

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Ministère de l’Air (French Air Ministry) was first established in 1928 to regulate civil air traffic in France and the overseas territories. After WW2 this was replaced by a wholly civilian organisation, the Secrétariat général à l’Aviation civile et commerciale (SGACC). A small fleet of aircraft was established for communications and navaid inspection. In the 1950s the SGACC became the Secrétariat général à l’Aviation civile (SGAC). In 1976 the SGAC was renamed the Direction générale de l’Aviation civile (DGAC). In February 2005 a new sub-division of the DGAC was created, the Direction des Services de la navigation aérienne (DSNA), which is responsible for Air Traffic Control in France. The navaid calibration aircraft now work for this division.

After WW2 the SGACC established a department to manage the new generation of radio navigation aids that had been developed during the war. This department was called the Service des Télécommunications et de la Signalisation (STS), (also called Service de Télécommunication et de Signalisation). This unit used a number of aircraft for transport and liaison purposes.

The activities of the French National Flight School, called the Service d’Exploitation de la Formation Aéronautique (SEFA), are covered separately.

Key Dates

14 September 1928    Ministère de l’Air first established.
12 September 1946    Secrétariat général à l’Aviation civile et commerciale (SGACC) created.
22 October 1947    Ministère de l’Air disbanded.
19??    SGACC becomes Secrétariat général à l’Aviation civile (SGAC).
1976    SGAC becomes Direction générale de l’Aviation civile (DGAC).
February 2005    Direction des Services de la navigation aérienne (DSNA) created.

Current Status

The DGAC aircraft are used for liaison and navaid calibration.

Future Plans

No plan known.

Markings

Special Markings

DGAC aircraft operate in an overall white colour scheme with a medium blue fuselage cheatline and areas of high-visibility orange on the nose, tail, wingtips and belly. The DGAC blue bird logo normally appears on the fin. The King Airs carry just DGAC and DSNA logos by the cockpit, with no service titles, whilst the ATR42 carries full DIRECTION GENERAL DE L’AVIATION CIVILE and CONTROLE EN VOL titles on the fuselage.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

DGAC aircraft carry French civil registrations, e.g. ATR 42 F-GFJH.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
ATR 42 1 1 0 Navaid Calibration
Beech Super King Air 200GT 3? 3? 0 Navaid Calibration

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Aerospatiale SN.601 Corvette ? ?? 1990 France
Amiot AAC.1 ? ?? ?? France
ATR 42 1 ?? current France
Beech Super King Air 200GT 3? ?? current USA
Caudron C.??? Goeland ? ?? ?? France
Douglas DC-3 ? ?? ?? USA
Douglas DC-4 ? ?? ?? USA
Lockheed L.749A Constellation 1 ?? 1963 ex-civil
SNCAC NC.702 Martinet ? ?? ?? France
Nord 262 3 ?? ?? France
Sud Ouest SO-95 Corse III ? ?? ?? France
Sud Est Caravelle ? ?? ?? France
SNCASE SE.161 Longuedoc ? ?? ?? France

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile, 50 Rue Henry Farman, 75720 Paris, France.

Organisational Structure

All aircraft are operated by the Flight Unit of the DGAC.

Current Unit Assignments

Not applicable

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The aircraft home base is not known.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

As above.

More Information

Books

French Aviation Bibliography – to be added

Magazines

No feature articles known.

Websites

wikipedia.fr: Direction générale de l’Aviation civile
wikipedia: DSNA
Planespotters.net

Any further photographs illustrating this air arm would be welcome.

French Telecoms Research Agency

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The CNET was first established in 1944 as the national agency for telecommunications, in a similar role to the British GPO. It appears that by the late 1950s CNET had acquired some aircraft for transport duties. Although CNET was a purely civilian organisation, these aircraft were maintained by the AdlA and operated in a pseudo-military markings. In 1991 CNET became part of France Telecom. In March 2000 the CNET name disappeared as the organisation was absorbed into a new France Telecom organisation. The last remaining CNET aircraft was disposed of shortly afterwards.

Key Dates

4 May 1944    CNET first established.
19??    First aircraft obtained.
1990    CNET becomes R&D arm of France Telecom.
1 March 2000    CNET becomes France Telecom R&D.
2001    Flying unit disbanded.

Current Status

The CNET flying unit was disbanded in 2001.

Future Plans

Not applicable.

Markings

Special Markings

CNET aircraft operated in an overall white, or white and pale grey, colour scheme with a pale blue/dark blue/pale blue fuselage cheatline. An air force style roundel appeared on the rear fuselage. No service titles wwere carried.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

CNET aircraft carried French civil registrations in the sequence F-SEBx, e.g. C-47 F-SEBD.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Aerospatiale AS 350B Ecureuil 1 ?? 1992 France
Aerospatiale SN.601 Corvette 1 19?? 1987 France
Amiot AAC.1 (Ju 52/3m) ? ? ? France
ATR 42 1 ? 2001 France
Beech UC-45G 1 ?? 1973 USA
Bell 47G 2 ?? 1978 USA
Dassault Falcon 20E 1 ?? 1998 France
Douglas C-47A 2 ?? 1981 ex-civil
Fokker F27-200 Friendship 1 ?? ?? ex-civil
Fokker F27-500 Friendship 1 ?? 1996 ex-civil
Fokker F27-600 Friendship 1 ?? 1996 ex-civil
Sud Aviation SE 3130 Alouette II 1 1957 1992 France
Sud Aviation SE 31?? Alouette III 1 ?? 1997 France

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

CNET, 38 rue du général leclerc, 92130 ISSY LES MOULINEAUX.

Organisational Structure

All aircraft were operated by the Flight Unit of the CNET.

Current Unit Assignments

Not applicable

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

All aircraft were based at Lannion-Servel.

More Information

Books

French Military Aviation by Paul A. Jackson (Midland Counties, 1979)
European Air Forces Directory 2012/13 (Mach III)

Magazines

No feature articles known.

Websites

wikipedia: Centre national d’études des télécommunications
wikipedia.fr: Centre national d’études des télécommunications

Any further photographs illustrating this air arm would be welcome.

French Naval Dockyard Agency

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The French Naval Dockyard Agency is responsible for the construction and upgrade of all French Navy ships, and also the provision of their equipment and weapons systems. For communications between geographically dispersed sites, it operated a small fleet of light aircraft from just after WW2 until 2010. In addition, a pair of Agusta-Bell 47 helicopters was used by the Establishment des Construction et Armes Navales for torpedo trials at St. Tropez. Renamed DCN in 1991, the organisation was privatised in 2003. In 2007 it absorbed the naval division of Thales, to become DCNS, where the ‘s’ stood for Systems and Services. The flying unit was disbanded in 2010.

Key Dates

1631    Central control of Royal Dockyards first established.
1852    Naval dockyards renamed Direction du Matériel.
1900    Naval dockyards renamed Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN).
1946    Naval dockyards reorganised as Direction des Constructions et Armes Navales (DCAN).
1946?    First aircraft obtained.
1991    DCAN becomes Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN)
2003    DCN becomes state-owned private company called “DCN”
2007    DCN renamed DCNS after acquisition of Thales naval division.
2010    Last aircraft retired.

Current Status

The DCNS ceased operating aircraft in 2010.

Future Plans

Not applicable.

Markings

Special Markings

It is not clear if the DCAN aircraft carried any special markings.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

DCAN aircraft had their own separate numbering system, commencing CAN1 and reaching CAN21. Each aircraft also had a French civil registration as a callsign, originally in the series F-YCZA to F-YCZP. In 1972 the callsigns were changed to F-YEEA onwards.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Agusta-Bell AB.47G-2 2 19?? 19?? Italy
Max Holste MH.1521M Broussard 2 19?? 1993 France
Morane-Saulnier MS.502 Criquet 1 19?? 19?? France
Nord NC 856 Norvigie 1 19?? 19?? France
Nord N.1002 Pingouin II 1 19?? 19?? France
Nord N.1101 Ramier I 7 19?? 1975 France
Nord N.1203 Norecrin 2 19?? 1968 France
Robin HR.100-250 2 1982 2006 France
Wassmer CE.43 Guepard 2 1984 2010 AdlA

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

DCAN, 40 rue du Docteur Finlay – 75015 Paris.

Organisational Structure

All aircraft were operated by the Flight Unit of the DCAN.

Current Unit Assignments

Not applicable

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

All aircraft were based at Cuers.

More Information

Books

French Military Aviation by Paul A. Jackson (Midland Counties, 1979)
European Air Forces Directory 2012/13 (Mach III)

Magazines

No feature articles known.

Websites

wikipedia: DCNS

Any further photographs illustrating this air arm would be welcome.

Institut Geographique National

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Institut Geographique National (IGN) was established in June 1940, shortly after the French surrender to Germany. The intention was to replace the previous military mapping service with a civilian organisation which was outside of the remit of the German occupying forces. The IGN survived the war and in 1947 was tasked with making new maps of war damaged France and its colonial territories. To accomplish this huge task, the IGN obtained a number of war surplus B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft from the USAAF to carry out a comprehensive photographic survey of the entire country. IGN maps have been continously updated ever since. In 2012 the IGN was merged with the Inventaire Forestier National to form the Institut National de l’Information Géographique et Forestière (National Institute of Geographic and Forestry Information), but keeping the IGN acronym.

Key Dates

1887    Service Géographique de L’Armée (SGA) created
1940    SGA disbanded.
26 June 1940    IGN established as civilian replacement for SGA.
1947    IGN tasked with making new maps of all of France.
1948    Aircraft fleet greatly expanded.
1 January 2012    IGN merges with Inventaire Forestier National.

Current Status

The IGN aircraft are used for photo surveying and map making.

Future Plans

No plan known.

Markings

Special Markings

Early IGN aircraft operated in a natural metal colour scheme. This was later refined with addition of a white upper fuselage and a red and white IGN insignia on the nose and fin. More recently, aircraft have adpted an overall white colour scheme with a blue fuselage cheatline and blue/white/red fin markings. The blue IGN logo appears on the fin.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

IGN aircraft carry French civil registrations, e.g. Super King Air 200 F-GALP.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Beech King Air 200T 4 2 0 Mapping

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

The IGN was interested in operating the Sud Est SE.1010, but the prototype was lost in a fatal crash in 1949.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

IGN, 73, avenue de Paris, 94165 SAINT-MANDÉ CEDEX.

Organisational Structure

All aircraft are operated by the flying unit of the IGN.

Current Unit Assignments

Not applicable

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

All IGN aircraft are based at Creil (BA110), but this airfield will close as a military base in October 2016, so a move may be necessary

All-Time Air Bases Used List

As above.

More Information

Books

French Aviation Bibliography – to be added

Magazines

No feature articles known.

Websites

Official Website
wikipedia: IGN
wikipedia.fr IGN
JetPhotos.net
B-17 Flying Fortress

Unresolved Research Issues

It is not clear what aircraft, if any, were operated between 1940 and 1946.

Any further photographs illustrating this air arm would be welcome.

Aviation Populaire

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Aviation Populaire was a French government scheme to popularise private flying. The idea was proposed by the Ministre de l’Air (Air Minister) in June 1936 and offically established in July 1936. Hundreds of light aircraft were purchased by the French government and supplied to newly established Sections d’Aviation Populaire (SAP) around the country. A considerable number of gliders was also provided. The SAPs provided low cost access to flying to men who would otherwise been unable to afford it. The scheme was slow to get going but eventually trained over 3500 new pilots and a similar number of mechanics. Increasing political tensions in Europe meant that in April 1939 the mission of the Aviation Populaire was modified to that of ‘pre-military’ training under Air Force direction. There was an increased emphasis on specialist skill training for navigators, gunners, mechanics and radio electricians. In March 1940 the SAPs were disbanded and their aircraft impressed into Air Force service. The large pool of trained personnel were poorly used by Air Force.

Key Dates

16 June 1936    Aviation Populaire announced.
31 July 1936    Aviation Populaire established.
1 April 1939    Aviation Populaire placed under Air Force control.
March 1940    Aviation Populaire disbanded and aircraft impressed into AdlA service.

Current Status

The Aviation Populaire was disbanded in 1940.

Future Plans

No plan known.

Markings

Special Markings

Aviation Populaire aircraft wore the standard colour scheme of the individual manufacturer. They do not appear to have carried any Aviation Populaire logo or titles.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Aviation Populaire aircraft carried standard French civil aircraft registrations, e.g. Salmson D6 F-APST.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Aviation Populaire, Ministère de l’Air, Boulevard Victor, Paris.

Organisational Structure

Aviation Populaire aircraft were operated by numerous local Section d’Aviation Populaire (SAP), which were usually attached to the local flyining club.

Current Unit Assignments

Not applicable

Historical Unit Assignments

To be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

To be added.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

See unit assignments.

More Information

Books

Aviation Populaire ou aviation prolétaire 1936 by Vital Ferry

Magazines

No feature articles known.

Websites

L’Aviation Populaire des années 30 en France
Civil Aircraft Register – France

Any further photographs illustrating this air arm would be welcome.

French Space Agency

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) is the French national space agency. It was first established in 1961. Initial rocket launches were from Hammaguir in Algeria, but in 1969 a new launch facility in French Guiana was completed. It does not appear that any CNES owned aircraft were used to support launch operations. CNES was originally responsible for training French astronauts, and in 1986 formed a subsidiary company called Novespace to provide zero-g experience by means of parabolic flights in an aircraft. The first aircraft, a Caravelle, was ready to use for this purpose in 1988. This aircraft was later replaced by an A300 and more recently by an A310. Since 2009 CNES has been developing an airborne satellite launch vehicle called EOLE. The first flight of a sub-scale UAV demonstrator took place in October 2013.

Key Dates

19 December 1961    CNES first established.
1969    French Guiana Space Centre completed.
1988    First aircraft obtained.
2014    New zero-g training aircraft delivered.

Current Status

The CNES aircraft are used for Zero-g training and space science research.

Future Plans

No plan known.

Markings

Special Markings

The Caravelle operated in a simple white and bare metal colour scheme with DGA CNES and ZERO-G titles. A parabolic flight logo appeated on the fin. The two Airbus aircraft operate in an overall white colour scheme with a two-tone blue logo on the fin of a person floating person space. The titles ZERO-G appear on the fuselage sides.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

CNES aircraft carry French civil registrations, e.g. A310 F-WNOV.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Now Role Origin
Airbus A310-300 1 1 Zero-g Training German AF
Dassault Falcon 20 1 1 Research ex-civil
EOLE 1 1 Research France

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Airbus A300B2 1 1995 2014 ex-civil
Airbus A310-300 1 2014 current German AF
Dassault Falcon 20 1 ? current ex-civil
EOLE 1 2013 current France
Sud Aviation Caravelle 1 1988 1995 ex-civil

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Centre national d’études spatiales, 2 place Maurice Quentin, 75 039 PARIS CEDEX 01, FRANCE.

Organisational Structure

The zero-g aircraft are operated by a CNES subsidiary called Novespace.

Current Unit Assignments

Not applicable

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The zero-g Caravelle operated from Bretigny Flight Test Centre, but the with the arrival of the Airbus A300 the operation moved to Bordeaux-Merignac.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

As above.

More Information

Books

French Aviation Bibliography – to be added

Magazines

No feature articles known.

Websites

Official Website
wikipedia: CNES
Air Zero-g
Novespace
wikipedia: Airbus A300 Zero-G

Any further photographs illustrating this air arm would be welcome.