Finally got my first visit to Airbus’s Getafe facility a few miles south of Madrid today and, even though obviously I’m currently biased towards my primary employer, it’s hard not to be impressed by the ultra-leading-edge composites and other manufacturing technology there.
Obviously the pride of Getafe right now is the magnificent beast shown below refuelling an itsy-bitsy Boeing E-3F AWACS. In the refuelling community, as I’ve been learning, the very occasional hairy things that happen usually involve tanking to large aircraft rather than to fighters. So topping up the AWACS, with its dorsal radome, has given everyone a lot of satisfaction. Particularly as it so happened that when the loaned AWACS turned up at the rendezvous it did in fact need refuelling for real so the first ‘trial’ was actually done in anger.
Anyway, there are A330 MRTTs all over the place at Getafe in variousstages – the first Australian aircraft flying of course, but the secondgetting close, and the first two FSTAs for the RAF also well along andlooking rather magnificent. Other A330s have already arrived fromToulouse for the UAE. So a busy place.
Here’s that pic, butbelow it is my personal pride of Getafe which a Spanish colleague, tohis shame, needed me to identify for him. And may I say I was verychuffed to correctly identify an aircraft produced in, ahem, reallyquite small numbers.
Here’sthe beast that caught my eye – you can personally test yourself to seeif you know what it is. Between you and your conscience if you’re rightor not. Be careful not to confuse it with the Martin 4-0-4, which Bob Lackey, given his startling comment on that link, certainly won’t. Correct answer at the end.
Yup you clever people, it is indeed a CASA C-207 Azor. Extra marks for the engines…
…BristolHercules (caution Wikipedia fact). And despite its less than gloriousresting place it’s actually in pretty good nick.