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.
|1944||CEV first established.|
|1946||EPNER frist established.|
|2009||CEV renamed DGA Essais en Vol.|
DGA Essais en Vol aircraft are used for the testing and development of aircraft, systems and weapons.
No plan known.
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.
Coding system not used
None – Manufacturers designations used
Current Aircraft Inventory
All-Time Aircraft Used List
Aircraft NOT Used
No false reports known.
DGA Essais en Vol, BA 125 Istres-Le Tubé, 13804 – ISTRES CEDEX.
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
Historical Unit Assignments
All-Time Flying Units List
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.
French Military Aviation by Paul A. Jackson (Midland Counties, 1979)
European Air Forces Directory 2012/13 (Mach III)
World Air Power Journal No.10 p.157