Stunning images filmed from the air to celebrate Air France’s 90th anniversary and the Patrouille de France’s 70th anniversary
To round off a year of celebrations marking Air France’s 90th and the Patrouille de France’s 70th anniversaries, the two jewels of the French aviation industry are honoured in a special film featuring them together in spectacular aerial footage.
At the end of September 2023, the company’s 22nd Airbus A350-900 named “Les Sables-d’Olonne” made its ferry flight from the manufacturer’s assembly site in Toulouse to the Air France global hub at Paris-Charles de Gaulle. For the occasion, the pilots of the Patrouille de France Alphajet operating a positioning flight in preparation for an airshow in the Occitanie region flew alongside the aircraft as part of an air display choreographed to perfection.
The operation was filmed at an altitude of over 2,500 metres above the Camargue. Meticulously prepared by the crews, this special mission dubbed “Athos A350” involved eleven aircraft of various sizes and operating at different speeds flying together to create exceptional images.
“A month of preparation and thorough cooperation was required to plan this 45-minute flight down to the smallest detail, guaranteeing the highest level of safety. This groundwork prepared jointly by the Patrouille de France team, the Air France crew and the pilot of the camera-mounted aircraft was carried out in line with the highest standards”.
Eric Prévot, event manager & ATHOS A350 mission leader
Directed by Eric Magnan (Airborne Films), a specialist in aerial footage, the film was shot from a French TBM 700 DAHER camera-mounted aircraft incorporating a leading-edge gyro-stabilized camera system. The original music by composer Augustin Saldjian was performed by the Prague philharmonic orchestra.
A real gift to all aviation enthusiasts, this film is a tribute to the pioneering spirit of the entire French aviation industry. It also highlights its long tradition of innovation, recognized the world over for its expertise and excellence in both the civil and military sectors. Produced with the support of the French Air and Space Force and Airbus, it also bears witness to the long-standing passion and daily commitment of staff from Air France and the entire aviation sector to making France’s influence felt around the globe.
About the Air France A350-900
The aircraft named “Les Sables d’Olonne” is the 22nd Airbus A350-900 to join the Air France fleet. With an order placed for 99 aircraft in the different versions (passenger and cargo), the Air France-KLM Group expects to be the world’s leading operator of this latest-generation aircraft, designed and assembled by Airbus teams in Toulouse, in the years ahead. Reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 25%, the Airbus A350-900 is the jewel of the Air France long-haul fleet. Its noise footprint is also reduced by 40%.
About the Patrouille de France
The Patrouille de France is an ambassador for the French Air and Space Force. A unit made up of pilots, mechanics and administrative staff from operational units, the Patrouille de France display team showcase their expertise to the general public at annual air shows. In 2023, the Patrouille de France celebrated its 70th anniversary.
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