Yesterday, in Paris, Didier Evrard, Head of Programmes at Airbus, was awarded the 2015 Icare prize by the France-based Association for Professional Aeronautics and Aerospace Journalists (AJPAE).
He received this accolade as Head of the A350 XWB Programme
, a role he held from 2007 to 2014. This association of journalists wished to highlight the exemplary manner in which he led this ambitious programme – which involves around 12,000 Airbus employees.
Didier Evrard assumed his duties as Head of the A350 XWB Programme in January 2007, with the objective of successfully leading the industrial development of this latest-generation long-range aircraft. He met this challenge brilliantly up to the first delivery of the aircraft, in line with the programme schedule. The A350 XWB was certified in September 2014 after an intensive flight test campaign. On 22nd December 2014, the latest addition to Airbus' wide-body family was delivered to Qatar Airways. Since 1st January 2015, Didier Evrard is responsible for all the Airbus programmes and is a member of the Executive Committee.
"I am very honoured by the award which is being given to me today," stated Didier Evrard. "The A350 XWB development is first and foremost a human adventure, a group effort, and the result of a united team, enriched by its diversity and experiences, committed and passionate. It's the consecration of several years of work for thousands of highly qualified and skilled people, both at Airbus and at our partners and suppliers. The roadmap was very ambitious. Above all, it was necessary to accelerate technologies which were not yet fully mature in order to manufacture a carbon aircraft, establish industrial bases to support the suppliers and prepare for series production. Together, we successfully confronted the challenges of developing a brand new, cutting-edge technology aircraft," he added.
The programme is now in the production phase and the aim is to achieve a delivery rate of 10 aircraft per month by the end of 2018. Airbus has already sold 780 of these long-range aircraft to 40 customers, and predicts a demand for more than 7,250 new passenger aircraft in this segment over the next 20 years.
For more information about the A350 XWB: http://www.airbus.com/aircraftfamilies/passengeraircraft/a350xwbfamily/
For more information about the Icare prize: http://www.ajpae.com/prix-icare/
About the Icare prize:
Each year, the AJPAE Icare prize rewards the work and commitment of an individual or a team in the aeronautical or space sector. This prize, which has a highly symbolic value, is subject to a formal vote by all the members of AJPAE at their annual general meeting. It was awarded for the first time in 1957.
Noteworthy Airbus laureates of the Icare prize in previous years include Henri Ziegler (1975 prize) and Roger Béteille (1977 prize), the founding fathers of Airbus, Pierre Baud and the Airbus Industrie flight test team (1993 prize), Jean Pierson, Head of Airbus Industrie until 1998 (1999 prize), and most recently, Louis Gallois, President and CEO of EADS (Airbus Group) (2012 prize).
Didier Evrard – biography
Didier Evrard was nominated as Executive Vice President Head of Programmes at Airbus, effective from 1st January 2015.
In this role, he is responsible for all Airbus aircraft programmes. Didier Evrard is also a member of the Airbus Executive Committee.
Previously, Didier Evrard was Head of the A350 XWB Programme, a role to which he was appointed in January 2007. In this role, he managed all aspects of the A350 XWB programme, and specifically the technical and industrial development.
Prior to assuming this position, as of 2002, Mr. Evrard led the programmes of MBDA and MBDA France. MBDA is a world leader in missiles and has three major aerospace and defence shareholders – BAE Systems, Airbus Group and Finmeccanica.
In 1998, Didier Evrard became Stand-Off Programme Director for Matra BAe Dynamics (MBD), with responsibility for the multinational Storm Shadow/SCALP programme. His role was to manage customer relations, technology, industrialisation, finance and risks. MBD was formed in 1996 by the 50-50 merger of the missile business of Matra Defense of France and BAe Dynamics of the UK, and was Europe's largest manufacturer of missiles.
Didier Evrard started his career in 1977 as a systems engineer with Matra. He held various multinational project management positions in the company until 1997, for programmes in cooperation with American, Italian, British and French partners.
Didier Evrard graduated from the Ecole Centrale de Lyon in 1975 and from the Sup’Aero Aerospace Engineering School in 1976.
Born in July 1953, Didier Evrard is married with three grown-up children. In his free time he enjoys cross-country running and golf.
About the A350 XWB:
The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) family is Airbus’ response to widespread market demand for a series of highly efficient medium-capacity long-range wide-body aircraft. The A350 XWB can fly up to 15,400 km/8,300 nm. The A350 XWB is designed to accommodate 315 passengers in the A350-900, and 369 in the A350-1000 in a typical two-class layout. The A350 XWB has the widest fuselage in its category, offering unprecedented levels of comfort, the lowest operating costs and lowest seat mile cost of any aircraft in this market segment. With power supplied by two new-generation Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines, the A350 XWB family is designed to confront today's challenges of volatile fuel prices, rising passenger expectations, and environmental concerns.