EPNER

of the French Flight Test Centre

History

The École du personnel navigant d’essais et de réception (EPNER) was first established in 1946 to train aircrews for test flying. It moved to Istres in 1962.

Subordinate Units

None

Aircraft

Type Qty Service Example Serials
Aerospatiale SA 330 Puma ? ? – Present 1184
Dassault Falcon 20 ? ? – Present CS/22
Dassault Mirage IIIA ? ? – ? 07
Dassault Mirage IIIB 2 ? – Present GT/234
Dassault Super Mystere B.2 1 ? – ? CV/02
D-B/D Alpha Jet ? ? – Present E80
Lockheed T-33A ? ? – ? 35061, GC/055
Mikoyan-Gurevitch MiG-21K 1 ?? – Present F-ZAGR
Nord 260 1 ? – Present GG/001
Nord N.3202 2+ ? – ? ?
Pilatus PC-7 ? ? – Present AI/579, AH/578
Sud Aviation SE 3130 Aouette II ? ? – ? ?
Sud Aviation SA 319B Alouette III ? ? – ? ?

(Additional identities are welcome).

Unit Markings

 

To be added


Main Bases

Base Duration
Brétigny-sur-Orge 1946 – 1962
Istres-Le Tube Air Base 1962 – Present


Photographs

None currently available.

More Information

References

  • French Military Aviation by Paul A Jackson (Midland Counties, 1979)
  • European Air Forces Directory 2012/13 (Mach III Publishing)
  • wikipedia: EPNER
  • official website

Other Sources

To be added.

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.

Current Aircraft Inventory
French Flight Test Centre

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Aerospatiale SA 330B Puma 5 4 0 Test & Evaluation
Aerospatiale AS 365N Dauphin 2 4 3 0 Test & Evaluation
Aerospatiale AS 550U2 Ecureuil 2 3 3 0 Test & Evaluation
CASA C.212 5 3 0 Test & Evaluation
Cessna 310 13 3 0 Test & Evaluation
Dassault-Breguet/Dornier Alpha Jet 10 7 0 Test & Evaluation
Dassault Mirage 2000-5 1 1 0 Test & Evaluation
Dassault Mirage 2000B 2 2 0 Test & Evaluation
Dassault Mirage 2000C 3 3 0 Test & Evaluation
Dassault Mirage 2000D 3 3 0 Test & Evaluation
Dassault Mirage 2000N 3 3 0 Test & Evaluation
Dassault Rafale B 2 2 0 Test & Evaluation
Dassault Rafale C 1 1 0 Test & Evaluation
Dassault Rafale D 5 5 0 Test & Evaluation
Dassault Rafale M 2 2 0 Test & Evaluation
Dassault Super Etendard 1 1 0 Test & Evaluation
Fokker 100 1 1 0 Test & Evaluation
Jodel D.140R 2 2 0 Test & Evaluation
Pilatus PC-7 5 5 0 Test & Evaluation
Robin HR.200 6 6 0 Test & Evaluation
SOCATA TBM.20 Trinidad 1 1 0 Test & Evaluation
SOCATA TBM.700 1 1 0 Test & Evaluation

All-Time Aircraft Used List
French Flight Test Centre

Note: This table only includes aircraft owned and operated by the CEV/DGA and not those merely submitted for testing.

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Aerospatiale SA 330B Puma 5 1974 current France
Aerospatiale AS 365N Dauphin 2 4 1983 current France
Aerospatiale AS 550U2 Ecureuil 2 3 1995 current France
Aerospatiale SN.601 Corvette 3 1991 2005 France
Beech C-45 3 ? ? USA
Bell 47D 4 ? ? USA
Breguet 941 4 1967 1974 France
CASA C.212 5 1988 current Spain
Cessna 310 13 1972 current USA
Cessna 337 1 ? ? USA
Cessna 411 4 1966 1995 USA
Dassault-Breguet/Dornier Alpha Jet 10 ? current France
Dassault Falcon 10 1 ? ? France
Dassault Falcon 20 13 ? 2009 France
Dassault MD.312 Flamant 1 ? ? France
Dassault Mirage IIIA 1 ? ? France
Dassault Mirage IIIB 7 ? 2002 France
Dassault Mirage IIIE 2 ? 2005 France
Dassault Mirage IIIR 1 ? ? France
Dassault Mirage IVA 1 ? ? France
Dassault Mirage F.1B 1 ? ? France
Dassault Mirage F.1E 1 ? ? France
Dassault Mirage 2000-5 1 ? current France
Dassault Mirage 2000B 2 ? current France
Dassault Mirage 2000C 3 ? current France
Dassault Mirage 2000D 3 ? current France
Dassault Mirage 2000N 3 ? current France
Dassault Mystere II 3 ? ? France
Dassault Mystere IIC 11 ? ? France
Dassault Mystere IVA 12 1953 1983 France
Dassault Ouragan 9 ? ? France
Dassault Rafale B 2 ? current France
Dassault Rafale C 1 ? current France
Dassault Rafale D 5 ? current France
Dassault Rafale M 2 ? current France
Dassault Super Etendard 1 ? current France
Dassault Super Mystere B.2 6 1957 1980 France
Douglas C-47 Dakota 1 ? ? USA
Douglas DC-7 3 1963 1977 USA
English Electric Canberra B.6 6 1954 1979 UK
Fokker 100 1 2013 current ex-civil
Fouga CM.170 Magister 10 1956 1997 France
Gloster Meteor NF.11 9 ? 1986 UK
Gloster Meteor NF.14 1 ? 1986 UK
Jodel D.140R 2 1967 current France
Jodel D.300 1 ? current France
Lockheed L.??? Constellation 1 ? ? USA
Lockheed T-33A 1 ? ? USA
Max Holste MH.1521M Broussard 1 ? ? France
Mikoyan-Gurevitch MiG-21US 1 2001 2001 Czech Rep.
Morane Saulnier MS.760 Paris 11 ? 2001 France
Morane Saulnier MS.892 Rallye 2 ? ? France
Mudry CAP-10B 5 1970 1996 France
Nord 260 4 ? ? France
Nord 262 3 ? ? France
Nord N.1101 16 1947 1976 France
Nord N.2501 Noratlas 3 ? ? France
Pilatus PC-7 5 1991 current Switzerland
SEPECAT Jaguar A 1 ? ? France
SEPECAT Jaguar E 1 ? ? France
SOCATA TB.20 Trinidad 1 2006 current France
SOCATA TBM.700 1 1992 current France
Sud Aviation SA 319B Alouette III 7 ? ? France
Sud Aviation SE 3130 Alouette II 5 ? ? France
Sud Aviation SO xx Bretagne 3 ? ? France
Sud Aviation Caravelle 2 1962 1998 France
Sud Aviation SO 4050 Vautour 3 ? ? France
Sud Aviation SO 4050 Vautour IIA 1 ? ? France
Sud Aviation SO 4050 Vautour IIN 10 1956 1979 France
Sud Aviation SO 4050 Vautour IIB 2 ? ? France
Transall C-160F 1 ? ? France
Wassmer CE.43 Guepard 16 1973 2007 France
Westland Lynx 1 ? ? UK

Additional information is welcome.