New museum honors the contributions France has made to aviation and aerospace.
The long-awaited Aeroscopia aviation museum was finally inaugurated in January at Blagnac, on the grounds of Toulouse Blagnac Airport. This milestone is yet another indication of how France protects and honors its aviation history. The southwest sector of the country has played a vital role in technical innovation dating back to Aeropostale’s Breguet XIV, a pioneering postal biplane; Dewoitine’s D520 high-performance fighter; the Armagnac and Caravelle commercial transports in the post-World War II era and, of course, the Franco-British Concorde supersonic transport (shown). These were followed, in the early 1970s, by the Airbus A300B, the European consortium’s first aircraft and the start of a world-class industrial saga.
Paris maintains one of the world’s finest museums at Le Bourget, end point of Charles Lindbergh’s historic transatlantic flight in 1927.
Toulouse officials have attempted for years to have its storied contributions to aviation commemorated, but at one point or another a last of funding or political support impeded them. About 30 years ago, Concorde test pilot Jean Pinet (he later founded Airbus Training) proposed a local museum, an idea facilitated by the industry’s consolidation. However, the estimated €24 million ($27 million), the minimum amount that would have been needed at the time, proved too difficult to obtain.
Source: www.aviationweek.com; Pierre Sparaco; January 26, 2015.