Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A visit to the AirCreation factory

We decided that we should go for a short trip (in the car) to Aubenas in the Ardeche region of France. It just so happens that the Aircreation factory is very close to Aubenas.
On Thursday morning we turned up at the factory unannounced. We were greeted by a lady just outside who I later found out was the wife of a man who I wanted to meet, Jean-Luc Tilloy. Jean-Luc has been very helpful to me in the past.

We were taken into the reception and introduced to Inma, one of the receptionists who speaks very good English. After being offered a coffee, we were taken into the factory itself and shown around. There is only a small workforce at AirCreation and the whole place has a family feel about it.

The first thing that we saw was a gold coloured Tanarg, very different to the red or yellow colours that this aircraft normally has. My eyes were immediately focused on the EFIS dashboard, and Enigma with full colour and integrated GPS. I am led to believe that this will become and option on the Tanarg instead of the Flycom Focus dashboard that is fitted to our aircraft.

A prototype wing was being tested at the time, which surprised me as the Ixess is a very good all round wing and would take some beating.

We also found that AirCreation stock a range of clothing, and ended up spending a few hundred euros.
The next area was the wing fabrication floor, where the ladies who make the wings, seats and other fabric parts were working away. All of these ladies have worked for AirCreation for many years and make every part themselves. Even the seat cushions are hand made! Due to their skills in this area, AirCreation can offer any design on the wing surface that a customer would want. There has even been one made with "missiles" sown onto the lower surface.

I went out to the front of the building to take a photo of the place and managed to catch the gold coloured Tanarg flying just above.

We ended up spending over two hours on our visit and enjoyed every minute of it. The only disappointment was that we did not get to meet Jean-Luc as he was away that week.
I have decided that I would like the new Enigma EFIS fitted to our aircraft and would also like the newer Ixess 13 wing too. The problem is that we would have to sell the Ixess 15 wing to make the change worth it. Another possibility may be to sell our Tanarg and buy a new one complete with the Enigma nad the 13 wing. We will see what happens.


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