- New office facilities provide modern and dynamic work spaces, driving creativity, integration and collaboration between teams and functions
- Concludes the integration of the former Paris and Munich Headquarter sites
- Honours European Aviation Pioneers
Toulouse, 28 June 2016 – Airbus Group SE (stock exchange symbol: AIR) has today inaugurated its new headquarters facilities, called “Wings Campus”, adjacent to the airport in Toulouse-Blagnac, France.
Housing 1,500 employees, the new campus is located at the heart of Airbus’s production and engineering activities and comprises the Group headquarters as well as integrated services buildings. From ground-breaking to the start of operations, construction works were completed within 25 months; the new facilities at the “Wings Campus” include a variety of modern features designed to enhance the working environment and work-life-balance such as collaborative office space, a 5,000 square meters canteen, a fitness centre, outdoor sports facilities, a Starbucks café and an outdoor WiFi connection. The energy-efficient buildings are heated and cooled using geothermal energy.
“The Wings Campus, with all its new elements, stands for our commitment to innovation, internationalisation and sustainable growth,” said Tom Enders, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Group, at the inauguration ceremony. “We strive to be a responsible, open-minded, innovative and future-oriented industry player – and want our employees to embrace this spirit. For that, we also must provide a state-of-the-art working environment. These new facilities are testament to this global commitment and I would like to express my sincere thanks to all who have contributed to this effort over the past two years. Most important for me personally: With our new Headquarters next to the airport runway, we are as close to our flying products as safely possible. That gives me an extra thrill!”
At the same time, Enders reflected on Europe’s successful aviation heritage during the inauguration event by stressing the link between early pioneers and what is today Europe’s largest aerospace company. In the presence of a number of high-ranking guests such as the Préfet of the Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées Region, Pascal Mailhos, the Mayor of Blagnac, Bernard Keller, and the Mayor of Toulouse, Jean-Luc Moudenc, Tom Enders unveiled street signs on the campus bearing the names of a number of famous pioneers.
The aviators being honoured with street signs are Jacqueline Auriol (1917-2000), Amy Johnson (1903-1941), Melitta Gräfin Stauffenberg (1903-1945) and José Ortiz-Echagüe (1886-1980). The Group also paid tribute to Captain Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown (1919-2016), whose name adorns a restaurant on the campus. Several descendants of these aviation pioneers attended the inauguration event.
“Very few of our pioneers could have imagined in their lifetime that today our nations have come together to make things fly under one Airbus flag,” Enders said. “It is the passion and courage of such pioneers that has paved the way for Airbus. We wouldn’t be here celebrating the opening of our new campus without them. I pay a special tribute to these three female pilots and engineers. They not only remind us of our complex and diverse history but they also underline the key role women have played in the successful evolution of European aviation. We hope that their legacy also inspires more young women to join our industry.”
The opening of the new Campus concludes the Headquarters move that the Group had initiated in 2013. It led to the sale of sites at Munich (Unterschleißheim) and Paris (Montmorency), the proceeds of which were used to fully finance the new campus in Toulouse-Blagnac.
Additional press materials (photos, video and background) on the inauguration of Airbus Group’s new headquarters facilities in Toulouse can be downloaded at www.airbusgroup.com/HQ-inauguration
About Airbus Group
Airbus Group is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2015, the Group – comprising Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space and Airbus Helicopters – generated revenues of € 64.5 billion and employed a workforce of around 136,600.
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Annex – Biographical Data
Jacqueline Marie-Therèse Suzanne Auriol, née Douet
(born November 5, 1917, Challans, Vendée; deceased February 11, 2000, Paris)
Jacqueline Auriol was a French aviatrix who set several world speed records. After graduating from the University of Nantes she took up her studies at the Ècole du Louvre in Paris.
In 1937, she married Paul Auriol, son of Vincent Auriol who became President of France in 1947.
After a severe crash in an aircraft in 1949, she underwent 33 surgical operations over a period of three years. During that time she studied algebra, trigonometry, aerodynamics, and other subjects necessary to become a professional test pilot.
She earned her military pilot license in 1950 then qualified as one of the first female test pilots in France. In 1953, she became the second woman to break the sound barrier in a Mystère IV and was later to become the first female pilot of the Concorde, as co-pilot to André Turcat.
Between 1951 and 1963, she set five world speed records, always in competition with her US-rival Jacqueline Cochran.
Her speed records started in 1951 with a Vampire and a speed of 818 km/h and finished in 1963 with 2,038 km/h in a Mirage IIIR.
(born 1 July 1903, Kingston upon Hull, deceased 5 January 1941, Thames Estuary)
Amy Johnson was a pioneering British aviatrix and might still be considered Britain´s most famous female pilot today.
She went to Sheffield University and completed a BA in Economics, before moving to London, where her flying career started at the London Aeroplane Club in 1928/29.
Johnson soon became a hero for being the first woman to fly solo from Britain to Australia. She took off in Croydon on 5 May 1930 and landed after 11,000 miles on 24 May in Darwin / Australia.
This epic flight was followed by another solo flight from England to Cape Town / South Africa in 1932 and again in 1936.
In the same year she married the Scottish pilot Jim Mollison, with whom she flew in a DH Dragon nonstop from South Wales to the United States in 1933 and nonstop from England to India in record time in 1934.
With the outbreak of World War II she joined the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) whose task was to ferry Royal Air Force aircraft around the country.
On 5 January 1941, she was to ferry an Airspeed Oxford from Prestwick via Blackpool to RAF Kidlington near Oxford. Presumably she went off course in adverse weather and her aircraft crashed into the Thames estuary. The circumstances of her premature death are still not clear and remain a mystery to this day.
Melitta Gräfin Stauffenberg, née Schiller
(born 9 January 1903, Krotoschin, deceased 8 April 1945 near Straubing)
Melitta Gräftin Stauffenberg was a German aviatrix who served as a test engineer in the German aviation industry and the Luftwaffe.
She studied mathematics, physics and engineering, eventually specialising in aeronautical engineering at the Technical University of Munich, where she graduated cum laude in 1927.
In 1928, she started working for the Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt (DVL), and from 1936 on, she developed navigation and steering systems for flying boats such as the Ha139 and the Dornier Do 18 at the Askania Company in Berlin.
In 1937, she married the historian Alexander Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg and on 28 October 1937, she became one of the first German women to be awarded the honorary title of Flugkapitän (flight captain), being one of the very first female test engineers. From 1939 on, she amassed over 2,500 demanding test flights in dive bombers in Rechlin and Berlin-Gatow, (mainly) to evaluate her own design work.
In 1944, she was arrested with other Stauffenberg family members on suspicion of conspiring with her brothers-in-law to assassinate Adolf Hitler, but she was later released to continue her engineering and test flight duties.
Countess von Stauffenberg died after being shot down, while piloting a light Buecker airplane by an Allied fighter on 8 April 1945 near Straubing /Bavaria.
(born 2 August 1886 in Guadalajara, deceased 7 September 1980 in Madrid)
José Ortiz-Echagüe, known as Don José, graduated at the age of 17 from the military academy in his home town. He became a balloonist and was one of the first people to take reconnaissance photos from a balloon, doing so in Africa.
In 1911, he was one of the very first to acquire the Spanish pilot´s licence, his document bearing the serial number 3. He then made a name for himself by undertaking various spectacular flights.
In 1914, he returned to civilian life and worked for a short time in France, then as an engineer in the railway works in Zaragoza. It was here that the first Spanish aircraft was also to be built. It completed its maiden flight on 3 April 1915. The reproduction of six French Parasol aircraft also took place at this time.
From 1917, he set up the “Electromecánica de Cataluña” company in Madrid, which manufactured spare parts for the aircraft industry.
In 1923 he became a founder father of CASA, where he subsequently occupied various top positions until his death. Don José held the position of President and CEO of CASA from
1966 to 1970.
A further task he took was that of a chairman and managing director at the newly founded car builder SEAT.
Captain Eric Melrose ‘Winkle’ Brown, Royal Navy
(born 21 January 1919, Leith, Scotland; died 21 February 2016, Redhill, England)
Eric Melrose Brown – universally known as Winkle – dominated flight testing for 20 years, including achieving three absolute world aviation records and flying as pilot-in-command of 487 types, among them the first jet and rocket-powered aircraft and first-generation helicopters.
He gained his nickname of Winkle by being the shortest pilot in the Fleet Air Arm. He survived 23 catastrophic accidents as an operational pilot and test pilot.
As a naval aviator, he also achieved notable successes in making 2,407 aircraft carrier deck landings and 2721 catapult launches (both these being world records unlikely to be surpassed), landing the first jet aboard a carrier, deck-landing the first twin-engined aircraft and teaching the first US astronauts how to be naval test pilots.
A fluent German speaker, Captain Brown was selected to lead the creation of the Marineflieger in 1958 and maintained his close relationship with European aviation throughout his long life including consulting on the Airbus A380 programme, giving his experience of near-transonic flight characteristics.
Throughout his life, he was passionate about aviation and educating the young on the merits of flight. In his later years, he lectured widely in Europe and as far afield as India and California. His personal interest and encouragement led countless young men and women to embrace aviation and aerospace as careers. He believed that people could achieve their dreams with passion and commitment, just as he had done.