Roger Béteille (28 August 1921 – 14 June 2019) was a French aeronautical engineer and businessman. Regarded as one of the founding fathers of the company, he is known for his contributions towards Airbus, which contributed towards the airline company's initial success. He also worked for Air France, Lufthansa, United, TWA and American Airlines.
Béteille in 1985
|Died||14 June 2019(aged 97)|
|Occupation||Aeronautical engineer, businessman|
|Known for||Contributions towards Airbus|
|Awards||Ludwig Prandtl Ring (1986)|
Béteille was born in Vors, Aveyron, France. After graduating from École Polytechnique, he chose the Corps de l'armement and studied at Supaéro and at the Centre des hautes études de l'armement (CHEAr).
In 1952, he joined Sud-Aviation in Toulouse where he held senior posts: Head of Flight Testing (1952 to 1957), Head of Rockets and Satellites division (1957 to 1967) and the deputy technical director 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. Béteille had spent time listening to airlines such as Air France and Lufthansa, as well as visiting U.S. airlines such as 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 was Mister Airbus. His contributions include the "Airbus fuselage" – the 222-in fuselage cross section with the ability to carry two LD-3 freight containers – and the basic work-share agreement of the various partners in Airbus.
Béteille purchased Super Guppy transport aircraft to bring the pieces of the aircraft to its final assembly point in Toulouse. He long served as the company's chief operating officer and was regarded as one of the founding fathers, along with Henri Ziegler and Felix Kracht.
Béteille was awarded the Ludwig Prandtl Ring from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Luft- und Raumfahrt (German Society for Aeronautics and Astronautics) in 1986. The Final Assembly Building for the Airbus A350 in Toulouse is named after him.
He died on 14 June 2019, at age 97.
- 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
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