28 October 2012

How and who decided whose name should be bestowed on the FAL

The A350 final assembly line is now called the Roger Beteille building. In the company of Airbus CEO Fabrice Brégier and the French Prime Minister, Roger took to the stage to a standing ovation to sign the inaugural plaque. The site where Airbus' newest wide-body twin jet will be assembled bears the name of the man who launched is first one.

But who is Mr. Beteille and who decided to bestowed on the A350 XWB FAL hall?

Mr. Beteille, 91, was one of the founding fathers of Airbus in the late 1960s and a key figure behind the development of the original A300 and, more than a decade later, the introduction of fly-by-wire technology for the A320.

As a long serving general manager, Béteille designed the workshare agreement between Airbus nations and played a decisive role in securing the A300's first customers. He launched not only the A300 and A310 but the concept of an Airbus family. He lent his support to the A320 and the development of fly-by-wire controls in the years before his retirement in 1985.

The choice of whose name should be bestowed on the FAL "was pretty simple," Fabrice Brégier said. "One person stood out. Roger Béteille was an Airbus pioneer, one of our industry's greatest innovators."

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