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TLS Flight testing

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TLS Flight testing

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Old 26th Oct 2018, 19:25
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TLS Flight testing

Anyone able to answer a query about how flight testing out of Toulouse Blagnac, especially airspace coordination and the like is organised? We live south of Toulouse in the middle of rural nowhere and get to see a lot of freshly painted Airbuses/ATR’s overhead but a spectacular, everything hanging low’ish level flypast by the Beluga XL on Wednesday AM (Sorry camera not handy) has finally prompted me ask:

Given it’s AFAIK open FIR, with plenty of GA and often military stuff (fixed wing and rotary) I assume the Flight testing traffic is getting some sort of radar service...is that simply provided by Blagnac ATC or do Airbus have their own deconfliction service?..And given the amount of testing done is there some form of slot system and/or different testing areas around Blagnac? FWIW most of the stuff we see seems to run on an ast-west racetrack between the airport and the Pyrenees.
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Old 29th Oct 2018, 23:56
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Can't give an answer on any de-confliction service, but doubt it would be a problem to track the a/c near the foothills of the Pyrenees, unless they were very low. For example, there's an enclosed radar transceiver in a tower on a hill near Pujaudran - about 15 miles due west of Blagnac. From up there (close to the main, N128 road from Toulouse to Auch), a long section of the Pyrenean chain is visible - from south-east to south-west - on a clear day.

BTW, surely an east-west racetrack based on Blagnac would not go anywhere near the Pyrenees? There seems to be a military low-level route from Toulouse-Francazal that tracks a bit south of west. It is used by Transalls and Hercs going to a parachuting zone in the region of Pau. But since the Paras moved out of Francazal, the daily commute has ceased. Perhaps they are mainly in Africa...
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Old 30th Oct 2018, 08:24
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Hi Chris..yes I know that transceiver tower from my days living over in the Gers..

As the lowness.. they can be interestingly low, I didn’t dash into look at Flight radar when our friendly BelugaXL did it’s dirty flypast last week (bit busy with DIY) but he appeared to be down at around 5000 feet or significantly less, well into GA (including the area used sometimes used by parachute dropping aircraft that are climbing out from Pamiers-Pujols), helicopter and military fast jet territory. It’s not infrequent to see some of Airbus stuff down at these levels, it certainly was quite common during the early flight testing of the 380 and the 350, hence the question. FWIW most of the more routine stuff (? Pre-delivery) appears to be done over us, but at higher levels.

BTW just to clarify the area they use isn't in the Blagnac overhead - if you have a look at the area south of Toulouse on the map and imagine a very long east'ish west'ish race track running roughly overhead the likes of Saverdun to the south east of Toulouse you'll get the idea.

And finally just to emphasise I’m not for one moment claiming there is anything cavalier or odd going on, it's great to watch, but simply interested to know what if any service they do get.

(Edit to add:, F-WBXL is at it again this PM, Tuesday, just gone overhead'ish yet again, this time at 1425 local, third time this PM - it's at 9000 feet on a race track between Limoux (east) and l'Isle en Dodon (west))















Last edited by wiggy; 30th Oct 2018 at 14:31.
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Old 8th Nov 2018, 09:25
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In Germany Airbus test flights get their own ATC-Advisor who keeps their airspace clear from conflicting traffic. In France they typically stay close to the coasts of the atlantic or mediterranean where their telemetry stations are.
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Old 8th Nov 2018, 14:03
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
In Germany Airbus test flights get their own ATC-Advisor who keeps their airspace clear from conflicting traffic.
Makes sense, wondered if similar happened at Blagnac, hence the question.

In France they typically stay close to the coasts of the atlantic or mediterranean where their telemetry stations are.
I guess that might apply at on occasions but FWIW the area they use south of Blagnac (e.g. where yesterday a couple of their big twins were trundling around at different times at lowish to medium level) is very much inland, over a part of France pretty much equidistant between the Med and the Atlantic.

Looks like what service they get is going to remain a mystery....
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Old 8th Nov 2018, 22:10
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The answer is that Airbus TLS uses the French CER government flight test ATC service, as do other French manufacturers and the military. It is similar in concept to that described for Hamburg. Test flights operate with a 1:1 controller who is trained in flight test and arranges separation from other traffic by co-ordinating with other ATC agencies. When uncontrolled airspace is used, then the CER will provide appropriate traffic information.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 08:10
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Ah, many many thanks.....much appreciated
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