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From 9 to 10 June 2017, 17 members of the RAeS Hamburg Branch with partners and friends visited the city of Toulouse and the surrounding area.

Led by Branch Chairman Richard Smyth, who also organized the tours and who lives near Carcassonne, the trip was a great experience and a great success for all participants. Richard was able to impart much of his knowledge of Airbus and the area to the group.


First came a guided tour of the Airbus works. Here the Final Assembly Lines (FAL) of the A350 and in another building the A380 were visited and explained by an Airbus employee.


The Hamburg group in front of the A300B in the Aeroscopia Museum



The Hamburg group in front of the A300B in the Aeroscopia Museum




















After a delicious lunch at a restaurant close to the factory, we visited the Aeroscopia Museum.


The futuristic building of the new museum is located in the north-east of the Toulouse airport and was only opened last year. During a guided tour, exhibits such as Super Guppy, the first Airbus A300B, the Concorde and the Caravelle were shown and visited. The museum also presents the history of the French aviation industry in detail and vividly.


In the evening the annual dinner of the RAeS Toulouse branch took place at the Chateau de Larroque where we were invited to participate. It is located in a very charming landscape approximately an hours drive from Toulouse. The dinner offered the best of French cuisine, combined with delicious local wines from this area. A lively discussion took place in the informal atmosphere between the Hamburg and Toulouse branches.


Another highlight of the evening was Prof. Jean-Marc Moschetta's lecture on the impact of drones  The Rapid Technological Development of Drones. He explained very clearly the history and the current development of drones and their growing future importance and possibilities of application.


On the second day, the touristic part of this trip took place. We first went to Carcassonne, a very charming medieval town with a fortress not far from the Spanish border. Here we admired the old houses and churches, which are a legitimate tourist magnet. A lunch in one of the many restaurants with delicious local cuisine then rounded off this visit.  Despite the heat of over 30° we all enjoyed the visit.  On the way back we made a coffee break in the pretty town of Castelnaudary.  It is located on the important Canal du Midi, which connects Toulouse with the Mediterranean via many lock systems.


The organized part of the programme then ended. Of course, all the participants used the evening and the next day to get to know the sights of Toulouse better, for example on a city tour. The extensive pedestrian zone with its many shops and restaurants, as well as the market hall, invites you to stroll, shop and taste the products of the South of France. The inhabitants were extremely polite and friendly and gladly helped. With a little English you could get along easily.


Overall, this perfectly organized trip was a successful combination of professional information and sightseeing. Thanks for this and we look forward to the next excursions of the RAeS Hamburg Branch.


Lutz Krebs (Berlin, Germany)

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