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Centenary of the French aerospace industry From 4 to 12 October 2008 Paris GIFAS

From 4 to 12 October 2008, the French aerospace industry will be taking over the Champs-Elysées to celebrate its centenary

With a combination of respect for the unknown and the desire to conquer it, the French have always had a passionate relationship with the skies, so close and yet so far. For the centenary of the French aerospace industry, Gifas is keeping the flame alive, inviting members of the public – enthusiasts and curious onlookers alike – to discover this great industry that is France's pride and joy, in an open-air exhibition on the Champs-Elysées, transformed for the occasion. Through a rich programme including exhibitions of aircraft, equipment and photographs, an Environment pavilion, a Training & Employment forum, activities and talks, the public will be immersed in the history of a fabulous saga, reminding us that, in the words of Saint-Exupéry, "All grown-ups were children first…"

Centenary of the French aerospace industry:
The longest-held dream of humanity... on the world's finest avenue.
It was on 11 January 1908 that a group of aviation pioneers (Robert Esnault-Pelterie, Louis Blériot, Gabriel Voisin et al) founded the Chambre Syndicale des Industries Aéronautiques, a trade association designed to lend an industrial dimension to something that, up to that point, had been nothing more than a sport. Then, in 1975, following several changes, the association took on a new dimension and became known as the Groupement des Industries Françaises Aéronautiques et Spatiales – Gifas. The story of aviation is therefore closely linked with that of Gifas, which will, from 4 to 10 October 2008, celebrate the 100th anniversary of the creation of the French aerospace industry. The scene of this great event will be the Champs-Elysées in Paris where, throughout these emblematic centenary celebrations, a spectacular exhibition of aircraft and related equipment as well as a host of talks and activities will be organized. An exceptional week therefore, when people will have the opportunity, alone or with the family, to wander along the world's finest avenue reliving the story of one of the longest-held dreams of humanity. The event will also be an opportunity for Gifas to inform the public about the industry's expertise and the issues facing the aerospace sector today. The keynotes of the event will be the industry's harnessing of the most advanced technologies, the high skill level of its personnel and the R&D programmes focused on minimizing its environmental impact. It will be an opportunity to take stock and see how far the industry has come since its beginnings. The event is being organized in partnership with DHL, the Air and Space Museum and Aéro-Club de France. Also, during the same week in Paris, Gifas will bring together a large number of European industry professionals for the annual Convention of the ASD (AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe).

When the Champs-Elysées turns into an aircraft carrier.
The centenary exhibition will be open to the public on the Champs-Elysées, between the Rond-Point Marcel Dassault and the Place de la Concorde, from 4 to 12 October 2008. This unique event will be an opportunity to see many of the most prestigious aircraft and associated equipment ever developed. Visitors will be able to walk around in the midst of some legendary aircraft (the Potez 25, Blériot XI, Spad XIII, the Cornu helicopter, the fuselage of the Farman Goliath, the nose section of the Caravelle, the Mirage III, etc.) as well as some of the industry's latest jewels, such as the celebrated Rafale, parts of the Airbus A380, A340 and A320, civil and military helicopters, the Ariane 5 launcher and a wealth of other equipment including engines, satellites, onboard equipment ,flight simulators, etc.
This bridge across time, illustrating technological development by example, will undoubtedly fascinate neophytes and aficionados alike. In parallel, the photographer Alain Ernoult will show thirty of his best shots around the obelisk. Illustrating the symbiosis between men and machines and often taken in extreme conditions, his spectacular photographs will show the history of French aviation in a new light.
“Et Icare a dépassé les étoiles...”: The different sections of the exhibition brought to life in a light and sound spectacular.
Through six travelling scenes created specially for the centenary of the aerospace industry, a group of actors will invite you to a show in six "stopovers": on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, get on board with Icarus, Paquerette and the lovely air hostess for a journey through 100 years of aerospace history.
The entire exhibition will come alive with a subtle mix of humour, emotion and education, an astonishing presentation of historical anecdotes and songs.
A spectacular light show will transform the Champs-Élysées into a huge landing strip at nightfall.
An enchanting, fun way to discover how the universal dream of flight became reality. Until a new dream captures our imagination and takes us on a different journey

Trades-professions-training-education area:
To help young people's careers take flight.
The French aerospace industry generates highly skilled jobs by virtue of its technological requirements. Young people will be able to find out about the careers of the future in a major forum organized in the Place de la Concorde, in front of the Jardin des Tuileries. Throughout the week, they will be able to obtain personal advice, browse a dedicated website and consult the aviation and space media library to find answers to all their questions. But the high point will be from Thursday 9 to Sunday 12 October, when the Forum Air & Espace will bring together all those involved in the sector (aerospace companies, airlines, the armed forces, training establishments, etc.) and will host talks and meetings with professionals. In parallel, general public and educational events and talks will ensure a fun yet educational approach to this Forum; treasure hunts using GPS, an aviation quiz and a careers presentation with the Espace d'Orientation Airemploi are some of the delights in store.

Aerospace & Environment Pavilion:
A responsible industry.
Gifas will be taking advantage of the centenary to highlight the efforts made to address the environmental challenge of our times. As part of the Grenelle Environment Forum, Gifas has signed the Environment and Air Transport Agreement with the French ministry of the environment, sustainable development and planning, a real demonstration of the commitment of all industry players. The industry is turning to advanced technology to design cleaner, quieter aircraft that use less fuel. The European Clean Sky programme, which aims to reduce emissions of carbon gas and nitrogen oxide as well as perceived noise, will also be presented to the public in this Pavilion, where manufacturers will present the results of their research and report on current and forthcoming projects and initiatives.

30th anniversary of Jacques Brel's death:
A look back at the life of a poet and aviator.
Jacques Brel died on 9 October 1978. On the occasion of the Centenary of the French aerospace industry, his second aircraft, the Wassmer Super 421, will be on show near the Rond-Point Marcel Dassault, on a bed of sand reminiscent of the Marquesas Islands, which were close to the artist's heart. A number of events will be organized to evoke the world of Jacques Brel. Polynesian dancing, tattoo art and music from the Marquesas Islands will be some of the related themes explored, while at the same time the celebrations remembering the death of the "man with the plane" will be in full swing in Polynesia.

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