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Summary of the 22th SFTE EC Annual symposium

Tolouse, France (2011-07-14/16)
Written by Denis Lafourcade

The 22nd SFTE-EC Annual Symposium took place at the Palais des Congrés in Toulouse. As it was the case in 1997 and 2003, the SFTE-EC Symposium was co-organized with ETTC 2011 (European Test and Telemetry Conference).

Dedication and personal involvement were necessary to get things done and I wish to express special thanks to:

  • Philippe Ferretti for his help in managing the technical programme
  • Elizabeth Tuffet, Maryse Bonnefont and Dominique Berbon for the handling of registrations as well as their involvement at the front desk during the three days
  • Alain Maury for the preparation of the Airbus booth in the exhibition and all the logistic affairs before and during the event
  • The ETTC Board (Guy Destarac, Jean-Claude Ghnassia and Alice Torgue) for their friendly and efficient contribution
  • The SFTE-EC Board (Henk Jentink, Christian Buck, Jesus Javier Fernandez Orio, Massimo Longo, Andrew Pegg, Rudolf Heinzinger, Reinhard Exner) for their active support all along these difficult months
  • The Airbus Flight & Integration Test Centre management, Fernando Alonso and Gérard Mathieu, who accepted to sponsor the Symposium. Without their help, the event should not have been a success.

Tuesday, June 14th
A plenary session gathering participants of the two events took place in the morning. Fernando Alonso, Head of the Flight and Integration Test Centre of Airbus welcome participants and presented a status of the main programmes under development (A400M, A350, Neo), as well as the future challenges to be faced by Flight Test Engineers. Then Guy Destarac, Treasurer of ETTC and Henk Jentink, President of SFTE-EC had the opportunity to welcome on their turn participants and to open the first session of presentations.

The first paper was given by Eric Isorce, Airbus Flight Test Engineer in charge of the A400M development. Impressive images and videos of the flight test campaign of the European new military transport aircraft.
The second paper was presented by Bernard Lamy, from Cisco Systems, which gave us an interesting view on the impressive evolution of the mobility technologies, which will impact seriously all of our activities.

Then the exhibition was officially opened, and everybody could take advantage to visit the booths of the world main suppliers in the flight test instrumentation domain.

Technical papers session specific to SFTE started in the afternoon, and the first day finished with a cocktail graciously offered by vendors in the exhibition area.

Wednesday, June 15th
The second technical paper session took place in the morning and the SFTE-EC Business Meeting took place before lunch. This was the time to announce and approve the new SFTE-EC Board and to give warm thanks to Henk Jenting who left his President’s position. Congratulations to Christian Buck who succeeds to him, and Jesus Javier Fernandez Orio who takes the Secretary role.

After the lunch, a bus brought every participant who registered for the technical tour to the A380 Final Assembly Line at the Jean-Luc Lagardère plant in Blagnac. The guided tour allowed people to discover how the European giant aircraft is assembled here in huge buildings and infrastructures, from parts built everywhere in Europe and beyond, gathered in Toulouse by mean of aircraft, ships and trucks.

An Entertainment Banquet joint with ETTC was held in the Musée des Abattoirs, the Museum of Modern Art of Toulouse. During the dinner, a close-up magician impressed all guests and everybody could enjoy the mildness of the Toulousan nights.

Thursday, June 16th
The third day was dedicated to technical papers and the conference ended with the Best Paper Award just before closing speeches.
The Award for Best Paper was presented to Mr Markus Bartenbach, from Cassidian Air System, for his paper on “Barracuda – TCAS demonstration with an UAV”.