This is just a sad moment for Airbus and the whole aircraft manufacturing industry. He has invented the first Airbus Aircraft, the A300B and founded Airbus Industriae.
Just some quick facts:
He was born in Aveyron, France, in 1921. He received his pilot’s licence in 1945, becoming thereafter flight test engineer in 1952. He was part of the flight test team on the Caravelle’s first flight.
In Summer 1967, he tried to develop a new wide body jet to try and hold up to 300 passengers. He was also appointed chief engineer for the A300 programme at Sud Aviation.
The A300B was formally lauched in 1969. And it made the first flight on 28 October 1972.
He had a dream to expand the company with more than one aircraft. A full family was needed. In Spring March 1984 he managed to attempt the formal launch of the A320.
During the Development he used modern Fly-By-Wire controls in the cockpit (FBW). And further expanded the system with safety equipment.
Roger Béteille at Airbus
1967: Appointed Airbus A300 Chief Engineer at Sud-Aviation for the French side of the project. His team consists of three people: himself, a fellow engineer and a secretary.
1969: Formal go-ahead for the Airbus A300B programme.
1970: After the creation of Airbus Industrie, he becomes senior vice president, Engineering
1972: First flight of A300B.
1975 : Appointed General Manager of Airbus Industrie.
1977: Breakthrough in the US with the first A300 commitment to buy from Eastern Airlines.
1978: Launch of A310: the first step in realising Roger Béteille’s vision of an Airbus family.
1984: Achieves launch of A320, a totally new single aisle aircraft with wider fuselage and fly-by-wire flight controls.
1985: Retires from Airbus Industrie as company President.
2012: The A350 XWB final assembly line in Toulouse is named in his honour.
(Timeline Credits goes to the link below)