In the inter-war years Biscarrosse was the centre of the thriving French seaplane industry, with more than 100 flying boats providing flights to Africa. New York and South America. There is now an excellent museum there, with a regular international event to trace the history of aviation.
The 2018 edition also marks the centenary of the first flight of what was to become Latécoère Air Lines which started delivering freight and post for Laposte to the french colonies in Africa.
During the first world war the founder, Pierre Latécoère, invested in factories in Toulouse producing shells and aircraft and delivered about 800 planes to the french army. The company then specialized in design and manufacture of seaplanes which reached a zenith with the six engined Latécoère 631 which was billed as ‘The Ship of the Skies‘ and designed for transatlantic flights. The 631 first flew in 1939 and 10 examples were produced. It was the largest production seaplane ever built and to put this into context had a wingspan about one third larger than the famous Short Sunderland of WWII fame. Groupe Latécoère still exists today as a successful group of companies supplying assemblies and components to Airbus and Boeing.
The 2018 flying displays will involve historic seaplanes and legendary aircraft of French and international aviation including the Breguet 14, PBY Catalina, Douglas DC3, De Havilland Beaver etc
More recent aircraft will fly including a Rafale, competitor to Eurofighter Typhoon, from the 17F Flotille of the French Naval Air Force, a fire fighting Canadair seaplane of the Civil Security and also the presence of the Patrouille de France which is the Air Force aerobatic team.
There will be helicopter rides, exhibitions and the usual event amenities.
The BBC enjoyed an excellent day in 2016, and we look forward to visiting again this year, seeing around 30 classic seaplanes in action, contrasted with a display by the mighty supersonic Dassault Rafale which is built at Merignac.
Our Rendezvous and Picnic
We must expect it to be busy, and to avoid the crowds we propose meeting at 12.00 sharp for a ‘tranquil’ picnic at the Petit Lac.
We will then walk less than 1 Km along the canal to reach the event at the southern lake at Latecoere, which has the usual festival facilities (aviation and other stalls, refreshments etc).
Entry is free.
Please bring all you need for a picnic ! Phil aims to ‘reserve’ the picnic tables by the lake !
Picnic and Meeting Location
TIME: 12:00 noon on Sunday 10th June
GPS: 44.396591, -1.182885 ( N 44°23’47.7″ W 1°10’58.4″ )
Alternatively, set your GPS to Avenue de Montbron
Map: Please click here for a map
Directions from Bordeaux:
- Take A63 from Bordeaux and after 28Km turn off onto A660 signed to Arcachon
- Turn off after 5 km, onto D216 signed to Biscarrosse
- In Mios turn sharp right at the first roundabout then straight over the next one
- After 25km go through Sanguinet (over 4 roundabouts including a large one surrounding the town hall)
- After a further 12 Km you reach Biscarrosse
- Go straight over the first and second roundabouts, and continue straight into the centre (over an absurd number of speed bumps !) past the Marie and the church
- Take the second turn right after the church, signed to Dechetterie and Cimetiere ! This road is Avenue de Montbron
- You will cross a bridge over the canal (joining Biscarrosse’s three lakes) and then look out for the lakeside car park on your right opposite the cemetery
- Note the car park has an intimidating 2.1m width restriction. If your car is wider, or you don’t trust your judgement, you can park opposite in the Cemetery car park !
- Note ignore any signs for ‘Hydravion’ (which direct to special parking, buses and crowds)
To register, please contact Phil C direct or book online below. Phil’s contact details are here
When using the on-line booking form, please note the following:
- Click ‘Submit’ only once and then wait for your booking details to be re-displayed on your screen.
- There maybe a little delay while your details are being noted and registered.
- If you do not receive a confirmation from the organiser within 48 hours then your booking has not been recorded and we ask you to contact the organiser direct for your booking confirmation.