Roger Béteille

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Roger Béteille in 1985 in his aerospatiale office

Roger Béteille is a French aeronautical engineer. He was born in Vors, Aveyron, France on 28 August 1921. After graduating from Polytechnique, he chose the Corps de l'armement and studied at Supaéro and at the Centre des hautes études de l'armement (CHEAr). In 1945 he acquired his pilot's licence. In 1952, he joined Sud-Aviation in Toulouse and held senior posts; Head of Flight Testing (1952 to 1957), Head of Rockets and Satellites division (1957 to 1967) and the deputy technical director of and A300 programme manager. He also played a decisive role in the "Armagnac" and "Caravelle" programmes.

He was one of the key players in the formation of the European Airbus consortium.[1] Béteille had spent time listening to airlines such as Air France and Lufthansa, as well as visiting U.S. airlines like United, TWA and American Airlines. He also decided that English should be the working language and that measurements should not be metric because most airlines already had American built aircraft.

A large part of the initial success of Airbus can be traced back to Béteille, whose nickname is Mister Airbus.[2] His contributions include the "Airbus fuselage"; 222-in fuselage cross section with ability to carry 2 LD-3 freight containers and the basic work share agreement of the various partners in Airbus. He purchased Super Guppy transport aircraft to bring the pieces of the aircraft to its final assembly in Toulouse. He long served as the company's chief operating officer and may be regarded as one of the founding fathers, along with Henri Ziegler and Felix Kracht, of the Airbus Industrie GIE economic interest grouping, subsequently to become a division of EADS.

In 1983 he became a founding member of the French Académie de l'air et de l'espace (AAE). He retired in March 1984. Béteille was awarded the Ludwig-Prandtl-Ring from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Luft- und Raumfahrt (German Society for Aeronautics and Astronautics) for "outstanding contribution in the field of aerospace engineering" in 1986. The Final Assembly Building for the Airbus A350 in Toulouse is named after him.[3]


  1. ^ History of EADS: Roger Béteille, one of the founding fathers of the Airbus Industrie
  2. ^ Karl Morgenstern, Jan Schulz, " L'histoire d'Airbus: une équipe européenne, un succès mondial. Ce sont des pionniers, réalistes dans l’action et visionnaires dans la pensée tels que Roger Beteille « Monsieur Airbus », qui ont permis, finalement, de réaliser cette idée européenne de l’aviation. », 26 juillet 2004, dans Deutschland magazine Archived 2008-04-02 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Airbus Scramble, Aviation Week and Space Technology, October 29, 2012, p.24

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