Before starting the history of what is now Airbus Defence and Space, a special mention ought to be made to José Ortiz-Echagüe Puertas, the founder of CASA (Construcciones Aeronáuticas Sociedad Anónima).
In Cuatro Vientos with Barrón “Flecha” aircraft.
Modest and austere, but with an outstanding personality, “Don José”, as he was nicknamed, led CASA for nearly 50 years, up until March 1970 when, at the age of 84, he voluntarily retired from his position as Chairman, but was appointed Honorary Chairman for life. Don José had not only created CASA and brought it to the level it had reached in the late 1960s, making it a recognised and valuable partner for many in the aviation world. He also understood the value, for the development of CASA, of extended collaborations. Furthermore, in 1950, the National Institute for Technology (INI - Instituto Nacional de Industria) also appointed him Chairman and Managing Director of the newly created car manufacturer SEAT, a position he retained for many years. In these various functions, Don José substantially contributed to the industrial development of Spain. And as if this were not enough, he was also a passionate artist and photographer of world reputation. Such was José Ortiz-Echagüe, who guided and led CASA from its birth in the early 1920s until the early 1970s.
Morane Saulnier G during the African campaign.
Supersonic flight in a two-seat F-100 of the USAF.