The tarmac of the Air and space museum

Walk down memory lane on the tarmac of the Le Bourget Air and Space museum

In 1927, Charles Lindberg landed his plane the "Spirit of Saint Louis" on the tarmac of what is now the Air and Space museum. He became the first person to make a nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic, flying from New York to Paris.

The legendary figure of the French airmail service, the famous French aviator Jean Mermoz crossed the mythical and much feared by all aviators, - the intertropical convergence zone - bringing back airmail from South America and he landed his plane Couzinet 70 Arc en Ciel 111 in Le Bourget too.

The Air and space museum relates the dawn of aviation to the conquest of space in the large Galleries which occupy the old terminal, including the hall of early aviation and the Wars. Do not miss the opportunity to get close to the aircrafts parked and exhibited on the former Le Bourget International business terminal tarmac. Visit Arianne 1 and 5 rockets and military war aircrafts. Planes include the prestigious Concorde. These superb visits offer more than one reason for staring up into the space understanding the effects of this incredible aircraft collection dating back to the early years. 

Tarmac of the Air and Space museum
© musée de l’Air et de l’Espace

Arianne rockets, passenger plane/Airliner and fighter aircraft

Discover large scale actual size models of Ariane 1 and Ariane 5 rockets located immediately after the museum entrance on the tarmac. Actual commercial airliners are also parked on the tarmac:  a passenger-airliner model aircraft named Caravelle of Air Provence company build by South Aviation aircrafts manufacturer, A Dassault Mercure 100-a Mercure Air Inter short haul airliner, an English jetliner Hawker-Siddeley HS-125, a four-engine Douglas DC-8 Sarigue, a Fedex Boeing 727 and the impressive awe-inspiring Boeing 747-100.

This first edition of Boeing 747 was ordered especially for visitors to the Air and Space museum. Board this “Jumbo Jet” and discover what goes on behind the scenes, you will experience what you never usually see on board. Enjoy the VIP visit of the cockpit and the luggage area, the electrical network and all the hidden parts of a plane will no longer be a secret for you.

Fighter-aircrafts are also parked on the tarmac : Russian fighter-plane Mig-21F et Mig-23 and of course Dassault Mirage 4000, the only French fighter plane and the French-Rafale-model.


Discover some information and anecdotes about the tarmac of the Air and Space Museum and the aircraft on display.

On February 14, 2017 after 1130 flights and 3360 flight hours, the Airbus A380 MSN4 F-WWDD 4th and last test aircraft of this program is handed over to the Air Museum in Le Bourget.

June 23, 2009 arrival in flight of the Nord 262 E N°72 of the French Navy on the tarmac of the Air Museum. It is exposed on the tarmac near the control tower. This aircraft dates from July 1969 and has 15,000 hours of flight time.

April 27, 2005 first flight of the Airbus A380. This prototype registered F-WWOW, takes off at 10:29 am from the runway 32L of Toulouse airport. After a perfect flight of 3h53 it lands again on the runway of Toulouse-Blagnac.

On February 25, 2000, after accumulating 97,271 hours of flight time, this Air France Boeing 747 F-BPVJ was handed over to the Air and Space Museum. You can visit it.

On January 26, 1988, an interministerial committee officially announced the launch of the Rafale program. Its demonstrator (first flight on July 4, 1986) is displayed on the tarmac

On 9 March 1979 at Istres, Jean-Marie Saget made the first flight of the Mirage 4000. During this flight the aircraft exceeds Mach 1.

November 24, 1977, first flight of the Super Etendard at Mérignac: first French aircraft equipped with an inertial navigation and attack system. It was retired from active service in July 2016. A modernized version can be seen on the tarmac of the Air Museum.

On February 18, 1977, the American space shuttle Enterprise made its first flight carried on the back of a Boeing 747 SCA (Shuttle Carrier Aircraft).

On January 22, 1970, PanAm opened the first commercial service between New York and London with the Boeing 747-100. The career of this aircraft, which SINCE became mythical, was launched.

On February 8, 1967, the first of seven prototypes (six single-seaters and one two-seater) of the Saab 37 Viggen made its maiden flight.  One example is displayed on the tarmac

5/21/1927 - Lindbergh was the first to cross the North Atlantic alone and non-stop. He managed to reach Le Bourget from New York aboard the Spirit of Saint Louis in 33 hours and 30 minutes. Taking advantage of his glory, he then devoted himself to the development of civil aviation.

Firefighters and events on the tarmac

Enjoy your visit for free on the opening days of the Air and Space museum.

Take your binoculars and stand in the secured area on the tarmac, enjoy the view of Firefighters’ training on Wednesday or Friday at 2.p.m. You can see them at work extinguishing fires in less than 30 minutes.

You can also watch business jets taking off from Le Bourget airport. Le Bourget international business airport is used today for business aviation and air shows only, most notably the Paris Air Show. You can also watch jets taking off or landing at the airport.

The Paris Air Show is held every two years. It is claimed to be the world’s oldest and largest air shows - airplanes, aircrafts and space innovations held every second year at Le Bourget airport.

Loads of other heritage visits right there!

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