Airbus A400M Maiden Flight-Multi signed by crew
Having joined Airbus in 1995, he was initially Project Pilot for the A330/A340 family and was particularly closely involved with the development of the A340-600 which he piloted on its maiden flight in April 2001. Subsequently he worked on all Airbus aircraft and participated extensively in the A380 flight test development programme.
Mr Strongman is today a veteran test pilot who was selected to attend the United States Air Force Test Pilot School (USAFTPS) at Edwards AFB, California in 1979 after five years of operations flying the Lockheed C-130 Hercules for the UK's Royal Air Force.
After graduating from USAFTPS Mr Strongman served for six years at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Bedford, UK flying a wide range of transports, fighters and helicopters. In 1986 he left Bedford as Commanding Officer of the Test Squadron to join the UK CAA as a certification test pilot involved in the regulatory approval of numerous jet and turboprop aircraft.
Mr Strongman has some 11,000 flight hours of which more than 7,000 have been in flight test.
Born in Cornwall, UK in 1949 Ed Strongman has an engineering degree from Bristol University/
In the right hand seat was Spaniard Ignacio "Nacho" Lombo (second from right). Airbus Experimental Test Pilot, has been with the A400M programme since March 2005 as a member of the design and test-team. He co-captained the A400M on its first flight with Chief Experimental Test Pilot Ed Strongman.
Mr Lombo has additionally flown the entire Airbus family – A300, A320, A330, A340 and A380. He has more than 250 hours on the A380, including high altitude testing in Ethiopia, high temperature testing in the UAE, noise tests in Seville, Spain and route-proving in Bogota, Colombia.
In June 2007 he was also part of the maiden flight crew of the A330 MRTT multi-role tanker/transport. Prior to that, Mr Lombo flew for EADS-CASA (now Airbus Military) on the Eurofighter Typhoon programme from 2003.
Nacho Lombo is an experimental test pilot graduate of the French school for flight test personnel EPNER (Ecole du Personnel Navigant d'Essais et de Réception). He was then assigned in 1998 to the Spanish Air Force test centre CLAEX (Centro Logístico de Armamento y Experimentacíon) where he worked on the Typhoon, Mirage F1 mid-life upgrade (MLU), and Northrop F-5 MLU programme for which he made the maiden flight.
Mr Lombo's flying career began in 1989 when he graduated from the Spanish Air Force Academy and went on to fly F-5 fighters. He became an F-5 instructor in the Spanish Fighter School and flew the Mirage F1 in the 141st Squadron at Albacete until 1997.
Among his 4,250 total flight hours he has amassed some 1,500 hours of flight-testing.
Born in Cartagena, Spain in 1966, Mr Lombo is married with three sons. In addition to flying he enjoys practising long-distance triathlon among other sports.
Eric Isorce (the gentleman in the back) is Senior Flight Test Engineer (FTE), project leader for the A400M programme, and has been Head of the A400M Integrated Flight Test Operations Team since September 2004.Mr Isorce joined Airbus in April 2001, working until September 2004 in the performance area of the Flight Test Division where he participated in the certification of the A340-600, A340-500 and A318.
During his flying career, which began in 1988, Eric Isorce initially worked for the French Air Force, flying the N2501, C135F, Mirage IV and Mirage 2000N. After graduating as a flight test engineer from the French school for flight test personnel EPNER (l’Ecole du Personnel Navigant d’Essais et de Réception) in 1991, he worked at the Centre d’Essais en Vol, the French flight test centre in Istres, as a project flight test engineer leader and navigator weapon system officer for the Mirage 2000D, Rafale and FLA programmes. In 1995, he took part, amongst other things, in the preparation of Allied Forces in Kosovo, flying the Mirage 2000D. He left the French Air Force with the rank of Colonel.
During a career in the French Air Force, French airworthiness authorities and at Airbus, Mr Isorce has accumulated more than 5,600 flight hours including more than 4,000 hours of flight test on more than 45 different aircraft types.
Born in Avignon, France in 1957, he graduated from the Ecole Militaire de l’Air in Salon de Provence in 1981 and has a Master’s degree in mechanical and aeronautical engineering from the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Aix en Provence.
Jean-Philippe Cottet (far right) Flight test engineer has been responsible for preparing the A400M flight test campaign since 2005, specialising more specifically in the Europrop International (EPI) TP- 400 turboprop engine which is to power the A400M. As such, he led the C-130 flying testbed programme, on which the all new TP-400 was tried in the air.
Prior to this, Mr. Cottet was flight test engineer for the Engine Alliance GP7200 turbofan on the A380 and, before that, for the Pratt & Whitney PW6000 engine on the A318. From 2001 to 2003, he was Airbus flight test engineer for acceptance test flights.
Jean Philippe Cottet began his career with Aerospatiale as an aerodynamic design engineer working on the development of supersonic wing shapes for future designs. He also trained as an accident investigator at the French institute for air safety (Institut Français de Sécurité Arienne - IFSA). From 1995 to 2001 he served as Aérospatiale Concorde support manager and then Concorde accident investigation team leader.
Jean Philippe Cottet graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (ENSAE) in 1990. He also received flight -test training at French flight test training school EPNER (l’Ecole du Personnel Navigant d’Essais et de Réception) from which he graduated in 2004. Hes also trained at ECATA (European Consortium for Advanced Training in Aerospace).
Born in 1966 in Belfort, north-east France
Dider Ronceray (second from left) has been Airbus Senior Flight Test Engineer - Handling Qualities since 2002 with responsibility for handling qualities, flight controls, loads and flutter on all the company’s aircraft programmes. Prior to this, he was closely involved in the A340-600 flight test programme. He has been working on the A400M programme since 1998.
Mr Ronceray studied general engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique (graduating in 1978) and specialised in aeronautics at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace, from which he graduated in 1980.
He joined the flight test data reduction department of Aérospatiale in 1980. In 1983-1984, he was sent for training and graduated as a flight test engineer at the French flight test school EPNER (l’Ecole du Personnel Navigant d’Essais et de Réception).Before joining Airbus in 1998, Mr Ronceray was a flight test engineer on the C-160 Transall and the Fokker F-27 ARAT (weather research aircraft) from 1984 to 1989, then on the ATR twinturboprop product line up to 1997. During this period, he also spent two years as a Beluga project flight test engineer, and took part in the TCAS collision-avoidance system on the
In 2001, he conducted the tests culminating in recovery of the Concorde Flight Airworthiness certificate.
Mr Ronceray also qualified as a private pilot in 1980 and as commercial pilot in 1987.He gained his instrument rating in 1991, and was subsequently type-rated on the ATR series, A300-600ST Beluga, Corvette, A330 and A340.Didier Ronceray has logged more than 7,000 flight hours including nearly 2,400 as a pilot.Born in Paris in 1955.
Rounding out the team is Gerard Leskerpit (second from right),he has been the Flight Test Engineer in charge of all Airbus military programmes since 2005. He was previously a flight test engineer in the Airbus Acceptance Department from 2001.
As a French Air Force pilot, Gérard Leskerpit joined France’s DGA (Direction générale pour l’armement) Flight Test Centre at Brétigny (near Paris) in 1992, and then underwent the test flight engineer training course at the French test pilot school EPNER (l’Ecole du Personnel Navigant d’Essais et de Réception), which he completed 1996.
Mr. Leskerpit became a flight test engineer at the DGA’s flight test centre in Istres in 1997 before moving to Airbus in 2001.Mr. Leskerpit’s aviation career began when he entered the French Air Force’s Technical School aged 17, to begin an engine and propeller training course, after which he became an engine maintenance specialist on the C-160 Transall. Following training as a flight engineer, he flew operationally on the Transall before becoming an instructor on the French Air Force’s Lockheed C-130 Hercules conversion unit in 1989.Gérard Leskerpit has clocked up around 8,000 flight hours, including 3,500 in flight testing, on more than 60 different types. He also holds private and glider pilot licences. Born in south-west France in 1959.