Image Courtesy of Airbus

TOULOUSE — Airbus will be transferring four former test aircraft to European aerospace museums this year, contributing historic airplanes from multiple programs to the fleet of display aircraft at two of Europe’s most important aviation history attractions. The first aircraft to be donated is Airbus A380 MSN 4, which will be sent to the Le Bourget aerospace museum on February 14, 2017. Three other aircraft, A320 MSN1, A340-600 MSN360, and A380 MSN2 will be maintained by Airbus Heritage in Toulouse before being transferred to Aeroscopia in Toulouse.

Image Courtesy of Airbus
An A380 in flight testing – Image Courtesy of Airbus

These aircraft encompass close to 30 years worth of flight tests and represent Airbus’ most successful (A320, A330/A340) and distinctive (A380) aircraft programs. The A380 at Le Bourget will undergo an initial phase of technical work (including structural preservation) and have its interior reconfigured into a special exhibit.

The Le Bourget aerospace museum is one of the oldest and most prestigious aviation museums in the world, dating back to 1919 after a proposal by aerospace engineer Albert Caquot. However, despite its place in European aviation history, there are currently no Airbus aircraft on display. In fact, only three passenger aircraft are displayed at the museum period, including the Boeing 747, the Concorde, and the Farman F.60 Goliath

Conversely, Aeroscopia is one of the newest aviation museums in the world, having opened on January 13, 2015, as the culmination of more than a decade of planning and development. Aeroscopia already houses two Concorde planes (one of Air France and one pre-production unit), an Airbus A300, a Super Guppy, an A400M, a Sud Aviation Caravelle 12, and a Fairchild Metroliner along with several military planes. The three additional planes will thus grow Aeroscopia’s Airbus collection to 6 frames in all.