France

Country Profile
 

Republic of France
(Republique Francaise)

Key Facts

Date of Independence:
843 AD
Capital City:
Paris
Total Area Ranking:
43 of 236 in the World
Population Size Ranking:
21 of 242 in the World
Status:
current

The Country

Geography

Located in western Europe, France has coastlines on the major maritime highways of the English Channel the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. It’s landward neighbours are Belgium and Germany to the north east, Switzerland and Italy to the south east, and Spain to the south west. The island of Corsica in the Mediterranean also belongs to France.
The terrain of France mainly comprises three lowland areas, a large plateau and three mountain ranges. The Paris basin is the largest lowland area, occupying one-third of the country. In the south west the Aquitaine basin drains the river Garonne into the Bay of Biscay. The third lowland area is the Rhone/Saone river valley, which runs north-south in western France, draining into the Mediterranean. This river valley separates the largest upland region, the Massif Central, from the French Alps. The Massif Central is a high plateau with an average height of 1000 m (3280 ft). The French Alps contain the country’s highest peaks, with Mont Blanc reaching 4,808 m (15,771 ft). By contrast the Jura Mountains just to the north only rise to 1,723 m (5,653 ft). The third mountain range is the Pyrenees, along the border with Spain. These rise to over 3000 m (9842 ft). The total land area is 550,100 sq km (212,394 sq miles).
The Population of 58.7 million (2000 figure) comprises 90% of French origin, with 6% North African, 2% German, 1% Breton and 1% other ethnic groups. Some 88% of the people are Roman Catholic, 8% Muslim, 2% Protestant, 1% Jewish and 1% Buddhist. The capital city is Paris.

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National History

Summary Narrative History

Timeline – Key Dates in French History

Further National Information

BBC News Profile: France
Yahoo France page
wikipedia: France
wikipedia: History of France

Aviation

Text to be added on the development of aviation in France.

Markings

Civil Aircraft Registrations

French civil aircraft have been registered in the series F-AAAA onwards since 1919. From 1929, civil aircraft in French Overseas Territories used the sequence F-Oxxx. Free French aircraft used the seqence FC-xxx in the period 1940-1946.

An all-time France civil aircraft register listing is here.

Aircraft Operators

Military Air Arms

Current military air arms-
Air Force (Armee de l’Air)
Naval Aviation (Aeronavale)
Army Aviation (Aviation Legere de L’Armee de Terre – ALAT)

Historical military air arms-
Air Force (Free French Air Force) [1940-1945]
Naval Aviation (Free French Naval Aviation) [1940-1945]
Colonial Army (Troupes Coloniales) [1947-1952?]

Central Government Agencies

Government Aviation – VIP transport is provided by the Air Force
Government Aviation (Government Aviation Unit) [1937-1943]
Air Ministry (a href=”http://www.aeroflight.co.uk/ops/gov/french-air-ministry.htm”>French Air Ministry) [1933-1966?]
Aviation Authority (DGAC)
Training School (Corps Technique de l’Air – SECT)
Flying School (Aviation Populaire) [1936-1940]
Flying School (SEFA) [1946-2011]
Customs Aviation (Douanes Françaises)
Gendarmerie Aviation (Gendarmerie Nationale)
Test & Evaluation (DGA Essais en Vol)
Aerospace Research (Service Technique de l’Aéronautique) [1916-1980]
Aerospace Research (ONERA – appears to have not had its own aircraft test fleet)
Scientific Research (INSU)
Telecoms Research (CNET) [1944-2001]
Weather Research (Meteo-France)
Space Agency (CNES)
Mapping Agency (IGN)
Naval Dockyards (DCAN) [1946-2010]

Public Service Aviation

Civil Defence (Sécurité Civile)
Fire Service (Brigade de Sapeurs Pompiers Paris) [1968-????]
Fire Service (Service départemental d’incendie et de secours – SDIS)
Medical Aviation (SAMU de France)
Police Aviation (Police Nationale)

Commercial Aviation

AeroLyon [1996-2002]
Air France
Air Liberte [1988-2001]
Air Littoral [1972-2004]
AOM [1988-2003]
Britt Air
Corsair
Corse Mediterreanee/CCM Airlines
Euralair [1968-2003]
Flandre Air [1977-2001]
Heli Union
Proteus Air System [1986-1996]
Regional Airlines
XL Airways

wikipedia: Airlines of France
The World’s Airlines: France

Private Aviation

Government/Military Contractors:
AvDef

(Please let me know if there are any past or present Government/Public Service operators I have inadvertantly missed out).

Industry

Aircraft Manufacturers

A page on the French Aircraft industry will be added.

Aircraft Maintenance/Repair Depots

None known.

Airfields

Civil Airports & Airfields

Airports in France

Military Air Bases & Airfields

Military Air Bases Listing – to be added.

On Show

Aviation Museums

Airborne Museum Pegasus Bridge
Musee du Chateau de Savigny
Aero Retro
Musee Europeen de l’Aviation de Chasse
Musee de l’Escadrille ‘Normandie-Niemen’
Ailes Anciennes Toulouse
Centre d’Etude et de Loisirs Aerospatiaux de Grenoble
Musee de l’Aviation Legere de l’Armee de Terre et de l’Helicoptere
Musee Historique de l’Hydroaviation
Musee Aeronautique Presqu’ile Cote d’Amour
Musee Regional de l’Air
Salles de Tradition de la Base Aeronavale de Lann-Bihoue
Musee de l’Aviation de Warluis
Musee de l’Aviation du Mas Palegry
Musee de l’Abri
Ailes Anciennes de Corbas
Association Pour la Sauvegarde du Patrimoine Aeronautique en Charolais
Amicale Jean-Baptiste Salis
Musee du Delta
Musee de l’Air et de l’Espace

Airshow Dates

Key Airshow Dates

More Information

Aviation-Related Magazines

Magazines Guide for France

Aviation Bibliography

French Aviation Bibliography – to be added

Web Links

The Early Aviation Industry in France
French aviation 1905-1914

wikipedia: Aviation in France
Links to various articles

Aviation Museums France
Visitor data and exhibits for each location


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