03 October 2013

First VMU test could be completed last week in an airport close to Paris.

The first VMU test could be performed last 26/Sep in an airport around 30 km south or southeast of Paris. It could be at Brétigny sur Orge (LFPY) or at Melun Villaroche Aerodrome (LFPM).

The A350 first prototype MSN1 took off from Toulouse at 04:28 UTC early in the morning (06:28h local time) as AIB57WB after 4 days of no test-flights, used in the Flight Line to prepare all the special equipment required for the VMU test. The aircraft landed back in Toulouse 6 hours later at 10:14 UTC (12:14h local time).

Brétigny-sur-Orge Air Base

Brétigny-sur-Orge Air Base (LFPY) is a French Air Force base. The base is located approximately 17 miles (27 km) south of Paris. Today, the base is a modern, fully equipped NATO base. The base has a new 3km runway recently marked with an excellent concrete surface.

Melun Villaroche Aerodrome

Another possibility is the Melun Villaroche Aerodrome that is located in the Île-de-France region in north-central France. The airport has two paved runways: 10/28 measuring 1,975 by 45 metres (6,480 ft × 148 ft) and 01/19 measuring 1,300 by 30 metres (4,265 ft × 98 ft).

The Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile, the French air accident investigation agency, has facilities at Melun Aerodrome.

flying on 26/Sep/2013

SNECMA (SAFRAN) has a large manufacturing plant to the south of the airport.

This aerodrome is best known for the numerous tests of aircraft prototypes that have occurred until the early 1980s, especially those of several military aircraft such as the Dassault Mystery; Mirage, and VTOL designs. It was also a test center for SNECMA.

Many World War II relics can be found at the airport, abandoned taxiways with aircraft hardstands are evident with deteriorating concrete. A munitions storage area remains to the east of the north-south runways in a wooded area along with what appear to be old concrete hangar foundations, buildings, and other wartime concrete taxiways.

In few days we will know where the tests were done, with spectacular pictures taken by Airbus.


  1. Brétigny is now closed for more than one year.
    Chalons - Vatry is also a good candidate for VMU tests. It is an international freight oriented airport. It is opened 24h a day and is located in the middle of nowhere. Tests will not disturb anybody and can be performed with discretion.

  2. In comming days we will know all the details. Thanks for your information