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We Make It Fly

Author: Airbus

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Welcome to the Airbus Podcast, 'We Make It Fly'.

Here you will find conversations on everything Airbus - what the company is currently up to across its several divisions, its plans for an innovative & sustainable future, and a view of its prestigious past.

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18 Episodes
In this episode, Jean-Brice Dumont, Executive Vice President Engineering at Airbus explains what HEPA (High-Efficiency-Particulate Arrestor) filters are, and why the air in the cabin is clean with its utilisation.As we take to the skies again, we will continue to provide you with the facts that reassure and dispel any myths around air travel in this period. See for privacy and opt-out information.
The A400M is the “topic du jour” for Airbus’ latest podcast, including insights from someone who knows this advanced military aircraft inside and out: John Taylor, an experimental test pilot at Airbus Defence and Space.Based at the San Pablo site near Seville, Spain – where A400Ms are assembled – Taylor says it’s a privilege to fly the aircraft and underscores key capabilities that set it apart from the competition, both now and for the years to come.More info: See for privacy and opt-out information.
In our society today, a world without satellite communications, navigation and Earth observation systems is unimaginable. Services provided by space-based systems have become omnipresent - simply think about navigation, TV broadcasts, weather forecasts, climate monitoring or military communications, even the Internet of Things stays connected through satellite communications. All acquired and distributed data is valuable, often sensitive and hence of interest to various groups: customers, competitors, hacktivists, nation states or military forces.In the past, large resources were required to attack space-based systems. But today the technical barrier is much lower and disrupting critical satellite operations might become possible at much lower cost and effort. This opens the door to many more potential attackers. Therefore, state-of-the-art monitoring and protection measures are a must for space-based systems, just like for any other technical system supporting critical infrastructure.In this podcast, Dr. Frank Schubert, specialist in Defence and Aerospace Security, explains how Airbus protects satellites from cyber-attacks and why it is so important to keep our systems save.More info: See for privacy and opt-out information.
Asteroids are not just an abstract danger out of blockbuster movies. They are very real. That’s why Airbus is developing new and innovative technologies to unlock the secrets of asteroids. In this podcast interview Albert Falke, Program and Project Manager of Asteroid detection at Airbus Defence and Space, explains what they are made of and how they can be diverted to keep our planet safe from harm.More info: See for privacy and opt-out information.
Across nearly all major industries, many are looking toward a future of mass adoption of geospatial technologies. But what technical and commercial barriers do we need to break down to truly democratize access to geospatial data and analytics?Globally, institutions and companies have gathered more Earth observation (EO) data than can ever be analyzed using traditional image processing methods. With emerging companies racing to launch their own EO systems, we face an unprecedented increase in capacity and volume of data that inspires us to explore the importance of machine learning and cloud computing infrastructure in generating insights at scale. In this interview Sean Wiid, Chief Product Officer at UP42, explains the role of platforms like UP42 in enabling the mass adoption of geospatial technologies.More info: See for privacy and opt-out information.
700 km above us, Airbus-built Pléiades satellites are taking high-resolution images of areas affected by Covid-19. This imagery is vital for a project launched by the European Space Agency ESA. It is called RACE – short for Rapid Action on COVID-19 and Earth Observation – and aims at providing information on the state of European society and economy in times of Corona.In this podcast interview Hervé Foch, Head of Imagery, Mapping and Location-Based Services team at Intelligence, explains how his team supports RACE and where Covid-19 impacts industrial activities. See for privacy and opt-out information.
The Airbus-built Solar Orbiter (SolO) is on an epic journey to unlock the Sun’s secrets. Listen to our latest podcast, which includes insights from Ian Walters, the Solar Orbiter Project Manager. Podcast topics include SoIO’s testing prior to launch in February 2020 and protecting the deep space probe from temperatures exceeding 500°C when it reaches the Sun’s vicinity.Ian Walter has been with Airbus since 1982. He has previously held positions of CTO / Chief Engineer for Galileo Industries, developing the complete Galileo navigation system for the EU, and Airbus VP for Navigation Systems, in Munich. He was also Engineering Manager for the Rosetta Platform and Project Manager for the JWST Mid Infra-red Instrument (MIRI).More info: See for privacy and opt-out information.
Find out how Airbus’ wind-sensing satellite Aeolus supports meteorologists where aircraft can’t in Corona times.The recent drop in commercial flights has also affected measurements for weather forecasting. But thanks to an Airbus-built satellite launched two years ago for our ESA customer, meteorologists are still able to give reliable forecasts.In our latest podcast interview, Philippe Pham, who leads Airbus’ space activities for Earth observation, navigation and science satellites, explains how Aeolus helps them achieve it. See for privacy and opt-out information.
Traditionally, 2020 would have been a busy airshow year. We were looking forward to updating you on the many new developments and business highlights at various trade shows. As of today, the significant meeting, travel and event restrictions have made physically hosting these shows impossible. In order to adapt to these changes, we will reach out to you digitally instead!Martin Agüera interviews Marco Gumbrecht, Head of Future Business Eurofighter and Military Relations in Combat Aircraft Systems for Airbus Defence and Space. Marco is a former Eurofighter Typhoon fighter pilot at the German Air Force and has flown the jet for many years. He has had a remarkable career in aviation so far, which has been home to him since he left high school and has taken him from the German Air Force to Airbus.Marco gives an operational insight view into the Eurofighter and how he sees the future of the Eurofighter Typhoon. See for privacy and opt-out information.
Airbus reaches beyond the skies and into space, and the technologies it builds and develops, keeps vital global communications that we all depend upon, working. Colin Paynter is the Managing Director of Airbus Defence and Space, based in the UK. Colin heads up a workforce of more than four thousand people, most of whom are involved in building communications and observation satellites. Airbus is by far the biggest player in this field in the UK. Customers for these solutions range from telecommunications companies to the British Armed Forces, and are used for a variety of functions, including monitoring the effects of climate changes and providing extra capacity for mobile phones. Airbus Defence and Space is also developing a new Mars Rover that is on schedule to be launched to the Red Planet (Mars) in the coming few years. Its goal will be to provide new scientific insights. Colin who has worked in his current position for 17 years, is about to retire from Airbus, and in this episode, he speaks to Martin Aguera about his work in the past, present developments, as well as his hopes for Airbus in the space segment moving forward.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
We're delving into the fascinating world of Airbus Helicopters and our guide for this episode has been with the company for over 30 years.Didier Delsalle is an experimental test pilot, who spends his days pushing the limits of aviation technology. He is known for being the first and only person who landed a helicopter, the NH90 or Squirrel, on the world's highest mountain, Everest, back in 2005. He has accumulated over 10,000 hours in the air and has flown about every helicopter in the Airbus world."As a prototype test pilot, you are always working with the latest technology. Even to the very last day, you want to see new systems or to fly new helicopters. Even to the very last day, you are still at the top." See for privacy and opt-out information.
For many people, Airbus is associated with aircraft, but it also does much more. In all that it does, the company always aims to reach beyond the clouds.Till Eisenberg is one of those who have helped Airbus make its mark in the final frontier of Space. He led an Airbus team that designed a floating electronic brain – called CIMON – that was sent to the International Space Station to help astronauts with their work. CIMON floats freely in zero gravity with its computerized facial screen watching, listening and communicating by voice with the astronauts. A future version is even being designed to read the mood of those on board in order to help them cope with the psychological demands of being in orbit.Till came to Airbus with a fascination for space, which came from watching Star Wars and Star Trek as a child, and in this episode, he tells Martin Aguera how he made science fiction into science reality. See for privacy and opt-out information.
Being international is at the heart of Airbus – from its European beginnings to its current global reach. And its workforce is no exception! There are more than 130 thousand people working at Airbus, drawn from over 120 countries.Shashwath Vummidilakshman’s journey eventually led him to Airbus. But it wasn’t easy realising his dream, coming from the bustling streets of Bangalore in Southern India, to verdant Toulouse in Southern France.There is a saying: "The destination should be constant, but the journey can differ." See for privacy and opt-out information.
The introduction to this episode comes from Paris Air Show where aircraft are on display in the air and on the ground. But before they reach Le Bourget’s tarmac, or even go near any runway, they go through intensive testing procedures. “Safety first” is Airbus’s mantra in all it does.Fernando Alonso has been central to this process for three decades, and he has a real passion for every aspect of getting aircraft from the design stage into operation. Over the course of his career he accumulated more than 4,300 hours of flight tests, and notably, he was key in the organisation and development of the Airbus’s flight test campaigns."You cannot do this job [without passion]. There is a physical connection between you and the airplane. I cannot imagine this job without passion." See for privacy and opt-out information.
Jacques Rocca is Airbus’s History Man. He sees the company’s achievements as part of a heritage that should be preserved. His passion to ensure that the past can be put on display now, led him to join the ‘AIRitage Project’ that collects and preserves aviation history from documents to whole aircraft. For the past ten years, he has also been the director of Airbus’s heritage department.So who better than him to take us on a private tour of Aeroscopia, the incredible aviation museum in Toulouse. "When I joined Aerospatiale in 1997, I understood that there is a very important history, heritage, which should be protected." See for privacy and opt-out information.
The Paris Air Show is the place where the industry and the public gather every two years to discover what’s new and exciting in the world of aviation. Airbus’s Chief Technology Officer is always in demand during the show, meeting with potential customers and others. The current CTO, Grazia Vittadini had a particularly busy week. Among other things, she signed an agreement with six other CTOs committing to sustainable goals for the aerospace industry.Grazia has ascended through Airbus’s ranks to reach the position she finds herself in today. She started off as an engineer designing window frames and now oversees the whole range of technological development for Airbus’s fleet. We spoke to her about her career and what she envisions for Airbus’s future.“Imagining the impossible is the subtitle of my job.” See for privacy and opt-out information.
In this episode Barbara Kracht – one of Airbus’s original employees, number 007 – goes down memory lane, recalling how the company grew from a modest start-up to a global aviation giant. The daughter of Felix Kracht, who was one of the company’s founders, she spent almost 40 years with Airbus, notably as head of Media Relations.Barbara tells us about Airbus’s beginnings, including witnessing the A300 first flight and some of the challenges commercially and technically of the early years.“We did not exist, we had to fight for everything.”Correction: the A330 crash Barbara refers to happened on 30th June 1994, and not 1974.We'd welcome your feedback using #WeMakeItFly.To find out more about Airbus go to, or follow us on Twitter @Airbus. See for privacy and opt-out information.
Airbus is turning 50 this year! So join us as we launch a new podcast, We Make It Fly.At Airbus, we make commercial aircraft—you’ve probably been on one. But we also make helicopters, fighter jets, space rockets and even the Mars Rover. In this podcast, you will meet the people who have played a part in turning the company into a global giant in the aerospace industry.Get on board, sit back, relax and enjoy the journey.We'd welcome your feedback using #WeMakeItFly.To find out more about Airbus go to, or follow us on Twitter @Airbus. See for privacy and opt-out information.
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