The TB-30 Epsilon, a little late !

Last summer, I presented a work in progress of the SOCATA TB-30 Epsilon, but never got around to showing the finished work. I’ll correct this omission now, with a series depicting the Epsilon in French air force service. France operated 150 of these nice-looking trainers from 1983 to 2019. They were a crowd favorite at airshows due to the well-known aerobatics team “Cartouche Doré”, which flew the type.

Armée de l’Air, TB-30 No 69, EPAA 00.315, BA 709 Cognac-Châteaubernard, 2013. This is the early French AF paint scheme for the Epsilon.

Armée de l’Air, TB-30 No 144, EPAA 00.315, BA 709 Cognac-Châteaubernard, 2018. Late in the Epsilon’s career, the white paint scheme was replaced by this blue-grey paint scheme.


Armée de l’Air, TB-30 No 90, F-SEXG, Cartouche Doré, 2011. From 1989 to 2016, the Cartouche Doré team sported several paint schemes, this one being the longest-lasting and best-known.

Armée de l’Air, TB-30 No 141, F-SEZF, Cartouche Doré, 2012. For the last five years of its existence, this was the paint scheme sported by Cartouche Doré Epsilons.

Armée de l’Air, TB-30 No 118, special retirement scheme, 2019. When the Epsilon was retired from service in 2019 and replaced by the Pilatus PC-21, this special scheme commemorating the various operational and Cartouche Doré schemes was created by designer Régis Rocca.

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