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Airbus celebrates 50th anniversary

written by australianaviation.com.au | May 31, 2019

An image of the Airbus A300 from the Airbus archives. (Airbus)
An image of the Airbus A300 from the Airbus archives. (Airbus)

Airbus launched of a world-wide campaign to mark its 50th anniversary, with 50 stories to be released on 50 consecutive days to highlight the innovations and people central to the global aerospace giant’s progress.

The company was born at the Paris Air Show on May 29 1969, when French transport minister Jean Chamant sat with German economics minister Karl Schiller to sign an agreement to launch the world’s first wide-body twin-engine passenger jet, the A300.

Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury said the story of Airbus since that landmark day was a showcase of European integration, bringing together civil and defence aviation businesses across the continent.


“For 50 years, we have pioneered many firsts through our passion and innovation, transforming the industry and helping to move society forward,” Faury said.

“Airbus is a story of incredible men and women, a story of great achievements in the past and, above all, in the future.”

VIDEO: A look at the past 50 years in Airbus history from the Airbus YouTube channel.

The publicity campaign began on 29 May and will run to 17 July. It will illuminate the varied aspects of the business, including commercial aircraft, helicopters, and the space and defence industries.

The campaign is also designed to narrow the focus on some critical issues facing society, including advances in electric flight to reduce emissions, digitising aerospace design, or the development of new options for urban air mobility.

The full list of stories can be found on the Airbus website.

The Airbus 50-year anniversary logo. (Airbus)
The Airbus 50-year anniversary logo. (Airbus)

Airbus said its industrial sites are also celebrating the 50-year milestone, with a program that began in Toulouse with a flyover of the full Airbus Commercial Aircraft family accompanied by the French Air Force’s precision aerobatics team, the Patrouille de France.

VIDEO: An Airbus video of a formation flight featuring all of the company’s n-production commercial aircraft – A220, A320, A330, A350 XWB and A380 – alongside France’s Patrouille de France aerobatic demonstration team.

The idea of a consortium to challenge the US dominance of the passenger aircraft industry had been floated nearly two years prior to the historic signing in May 1969 in a meeting of ministers from Germany, France and the UK in July 1967. However, the signing of the France-Germany agreement in May 1969 was regarded as the formal start of Airbus.

Since its birth, Airbus has delivered more than 12,000 commercial aircraft, reaching the milestone with the delivery of an A220-100 to Delta Airlines on May 20, 2019. The company has also delivered more than 12,000 helicopters.

VIDEO: Just like Airbus did when Boeing celebrated its 100th anniversary, Boeing has offered its congratulates to Airbus on its 50-year anniversary in a video posted on the Boeing YouTube channel.

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