Toulouse - The Home of Airbus ( 05/12/2017 )

No update on the blog for a while and there is of course a reason for that. Right now and during the last couple of weeks I have been down in Toulouse in the southern France at the Air bus Training Center. On behalf of my employer Scandinavian Airlines, I am doing a type rating course for the Airbus A320 family aircraft that gradually replace the Boeing 737 fleet in the airline. In this case the training is located on site at the Airbus very own Training Center at the Toulouse Blagnac Airport. A full type rating consists of approximately six weeks of training including theoretical course, sessions in an aircraft procedure trainer and full flight simulator.

Airbus is the biggest employer in Toulouse of course and around 21.000 people are employed at this site. The airliner manufacturer houses facilities and assembly lines all around the airport perimeter. All different aircraft types are assembled here like the A320, A330, A350 and giant A380 double decker.

What to do in Toulouse while having a little of spare time? Of course Airbus has taken the opportunity to make business out of letting people visit the assembly lines and showing the process how to assembly an aircraft. You can join the A380 and/or the A350 tour which give you and insight of the construction process as well as a round tour on the production site within the airport perimeter. Unfortunately you are not allowed to take any photos during the tour and the same restriction apply for the training. It's still very interesting of course and I can truly recommend the tours.

Anyhow the tours begin at the north side of the airport at the Musée Aeroscopia which you must visit in connection with your Airbus tour. Here you will find the history of aviation and the history of Airbus itself with one of the very first prototypes of Airbus first aircraft, the Airbus A300. Inside the huge hangar you will also see several other smaller aircraft but there is also one of the bigger, the old Super Guppy. This aircraft was used to transport the different parts such as wings, fuselages etc. between the different production sites in Europe for the final assembly. This aircraft has now been replaced by the Beluga, named after the whale due its look alike appearance. The highlight of the museum is actually outside where you can see the most beautiful airliner ever created the supersonic Concorde in full Air France livery. There is also an old Caravelle and Airbus newly produced military aircraft, the A400M.

You can't visit Toulouse without making a visit to Let's Visit Airbus and the Musée Aeroscopia, two combined tours plus a visit to the exhibition takes about five hours.
More of Toulouse is coming up later on the blog, enjoy some the aircraft which can be seen in the exhibition hangar until then!

The first aircraft manufactured by Airbus, the A300, on display in the hangar.

The Airbus Skylink, Super Guppy, together with some other historical aircraft.

The Concorde prototype on display inside the hangar

The tail fin of the prototype Concorde inside the hangar

The Super Guppy on a closeup

The engines of the superonic Concorde

The Airbus Skylink, Super Guppy, together with some other historical aircraft.