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Family Flight: Behind the scenes
17 June 2017 Company

Family Flight: Behind the scenes

A united formation and an aeronautical achievement

Behind the scenes of Airbus’ latest video, which sees our A350 XWB, A400M, Eurofighter Typhoon and H160 aircraft sharing the skies in a one-off performance. 

“Different aircraft, completely different performance and flight characteristics, the diversity of our portfolio – and we were able to bring this,” says Ignacio Lombo, Airbus DS Chief Test Pilot, highlighting the challenges behind creating the Family Flight video.   

To film the different formations that have already been viewed over 5 million times on Airbus social media, flight crews for all 4 aircraft met with photographer Anthony Pecchi and his team at Istres in southern France. 

Factors such as positioning, manoeuvrability, speed and fuel were mapped out with complete accuracy, as the crews got to grips with the task: “You have to really prepare the flights very carefully to make sure it’s safe. You have to think what is feasible, and how to go from one shot to another,” explains Christophe Cail, Airbus Chief Test Pilot. 

More than ever, we make it fly 

The teams and aircraft gathered from sites across Europe, with the Eurofighter performing its sequences in a more limited timescale and the A400M completing tests on its journey back to Seville. “We feel very proud of our company, our personnel and our products because it’s really impressive what we are able to achieve when working together,” underlines Carlos Pinilla, Local Chief Pilot at Getafe, where the Eurofighter returned after filming. 

And it was also a chance for Airbus’ network of flight test experts – who really do make it fly – to come together. Summing up the mood, Olivier Gensse, Experimental Test Pilot at Airbus Helicopters, adds: “It’s just outstanding to be in the middle of such different aircraft and to share a flight with all the Airbus crews. With this flight, you can say we are a family.”

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