The partial evacuation tests was performed on 11/April in Saint Martin site at Toulouse with the MSN2 prototype. Two different tests were carried out in the presence of the appropriate airworthiness authorities in the doors number 1 and number 3.
Why partial tests on doors 1 & 3?
Because these 2 doors can be equipped by airlines with single-track evacuation slides (known as configuration Type C). The other 2 doors (2 & 4) are Type A doors that are always equipped with double-track evacuation slides. As there were no official data for the new configuration Type C, certification tests were required.
200 Airbus employees –between 18 and 60 years old volunteers- were split in 2 groups and they evacuated the aircraft for each Door 1 & 3. The tests were conducted in a dark hangar to simulate night conditions and only the airplane's emergency lighting system were providing illumination. Before Air France´s cabin-crew standard safety demonstration, some pillows, blankets, hand-baggages and a baby-doll was distributed to simulate real conditions.
When one cabin attendant activated the evacuation alarm, she and her colleague tried to open both doors but only one of the door was “on”. There were no injuries during the 2 evacuations and the certification tests were a complete success being validated by the airworthiness authorities.
Evacuation slides are manufactured by Zodiac Aero Evacuation Systems and they are equipped with lights. The tests were recorded with infrared cameras and a team of 40 experts were witnessing them onboard and in the hangar.
Based on the article “Success of the partial evac tests” published in One Magazine