Insignia of the 10S flight.
Insignia of the 10S flight.


The Test Division was created in December 1944 and became the 10S flight on July 1st 1945, commanded by LV Hervé. The 10S was the CEPA’s test flight, and was temporarily based at Hyères. By september 30th 1946, 30 aircraft operated from the base :

The flight was permanently stationned at Hyères in December 1946 with 26 aircraft, but a detachment was still at the Luc airfield with former WWII bombers such as Ju-88s, Ju-188s, Wellingtons. Moreover, few Bloch MB-175s were also operated from this small airfield.

By December 31st 1947, 48 test programs had been led, including eight dedicated to the Bloch-175 run by 5 Bloch-175 from the 10S flight. The MS-474 was tested from 1947 to 1978. In January 1954, two hangars at the Luc base collapsed ; a Lancaster and a MD-312 were dammaged.

The following tests took place :

The flight operated 28 aircraft, 11 different planes in 1949 ; 18 aircraft of 10 different planes in 1951, and 7 different types of planes in 1954.

As of 1954 :

Two helicopters, a S-55 and a Hup-2 maintained by the Helicopter Section of the squadron, section created in 1954. The 10S moved to Cuers for the time being.

The next tests concerned :

In 1956, the Breguet-965 was used as a flying testbed for the Breguet-1050’s avionics at Istres. In 1957, the SFENA autopilot was tested on a TBM Avenger, as were the ASM DRAA-1A & DRAA-2A radars and the ARAR-1 RWR. In 1958, pre-production aircraft n° 01, 02, 03, and 05 arrived and 600 carrier traps were performed until mid-1958.

Other tests took place :

In May 1957, a detachment was activated at Hyères with 2 SNCASE Aquilons.

By July 15th 1958, the flight operated :

In 1959, the famous Nord-2504 N°04, which will remain in service until 1987, was delivered to 10S flight. On December 2nd , the Malpasset dike broke, causing the death of 433 people and the destruction of the following aircraft : 3 Lancasters, 3 MD-312s, 5 TBMs, 2 F4U-7s, 8 Nord-1002s, 2 Broussards and the Nord-2504 (only slightly).

The additionnal tests of the period were :

Within the 10S, the Nord-2504 was exclusively used for transport-/ comm. In July 1963, a Nord-2502C flew with the navigation system of the Atl-1. On February 15th 1965, an Alizé crashed. In April 1965, the Aquilon detachment at Hyères was closed ; otherwise the TBM was discommissioned. On August 1st 1973, the 10S was disbanded and replaced by the SES (Support and Test section). It owned :

The MD-312s were scrapped while the MS-733s were allocated to the SVS based at Lanvéoc. New gears such as the ARAR-12 and the Omega Equinox navigation system are fitted on the Alizé in 1981. On February 1st 1991, the 10S and the 20S squadrons merged. The flight was disbanded on March 14th 1995 ; finally it has been re-activated at NAS Hyères as the 10S ERCE.



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