The Infante de Orleans Foundation, named like one of the first Spanish aviation pioneers, is a museum of airworthy historic aircraft whose origin dates back to 1984, when a group of aviation professionals created the José Luis Aresti Aero Club's Historic Aircraft Section. In order to consolidate this initiative, the Foundation was established in 1989, with the aim of displaying the widest possible collection of aircraft that have played a prominent role in the development of Spanish aeronautics.
The Foundation's collection currently has 42 examples of 32 different airplane models, which represent a very important period in our aeronautical history, most of them in perfect flying condition and the rest waiting for restoration . As a collaborating entity of the Institute of Aeronautical History and Culture and holder of the Honorary Diploma of the International Aeronautical Federation, the Infante de Orleans Foundation extends its field of activity to all those actions that aim to disseminate Spanish aeronautical culture.
We celebrate monthly exhibitions (excepting January and August, because of the adverse weather conditions typical of those months), in which around 20 of our planes get to the air to the delight of about 2000 people.
The Infante de Orleans
H.R.H. Alfonso de Orleans y Borbón, first cousin of King Alfonso XIII, learnt to fly in Mormelon, France, in 1910, becoming the second Spanish in obtaining a licence from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (after Benito Loygarry, who didn't keep flying in later years). He flew as a military pilot for more than two decades, taking part in such historical events as the Alhucemas Landing in 1925 and the Spanish Civil War, which he ended as a Brigadier General. In 1945 he left the Army but not the skies: he went on piloting sport planes as a civilian until an advanced age.
The Infante de Orleans was chosen by FIO for his outstanding human qualities, his status as a true pioneer of Spanish aviation and for his formidable professional career. He was, and continues to be, an example to follow and is, therefore, an emblematic figure for all pilots, especially for this institution, which is honoured to bear his name.
The Fundación Infante de Orleans has its centre of operations in Madrid-Cuatro Vientos Airport, Spain's oldest operative airport (since March 1911). There could not be a more suitable setting, since a large part of our aeronautical history has taken place there. A military base, a civil aerodrome, headquarters of the most important aeronautical factories and the most advanced research centres of its time, both civil and military, it was the starting point for historic flights and important raids.
Today it is one of the most active civil airports for private and flying school activity. It also houses the Air Museum and may soon become one of the most important aeronautical cultural centres in Europe.
Our Restoration and Maintenance Centre
The Infante de Orleans Foundation's Restoration and Maintenance Centre (C.R.M.) is responsible for the restoration and in-flight conservation of our aircraft.
Initially, FIO subcontracted maintenance to one of the companies established at Cuatro Vientos, but it soon became clear that the characteristics of such a heterogeneous fleet of aircraft required a dedicated, highly specialised, full-time maintenance team, trained in-house.
FIO needed its own workshop recognised by the D.G.A.C. (Spain’s Civil Aviation Authority) to carry out both ordinary maintenance, repairs and major restorations. Thus the CRM (Centre for Restoration and Maintenance) was born. Made up of a staff of highly qualified specialists dedicated to ordinary maintenance, and groups of volunteer mechanics in charge of the long restoration projects. Everyone is familiar with the most modern technologies and craft techniques such as fabric covering and carpentry, all being directed by a technical team made up of a senior engineer, a technical engineer and a pilot, who are members of the Foundation's Board of Trustees.
There is a permanent search for solutions to technical problems from another era that requires keeping alive techniques that have fallen into disuse and would otherwise have disappeared long ago.
The CRM is the true heart of the institution and preserving the collection in a "living" state depends on it.
The Infante de Orleans Foundation could not exist without our volunteers, so we want to thank them for being by our side every day and giving their best and we want to express publicly our gratitude and recognition to their great work.
At the Infante Orleans Foundation we are a family united by the same passion, Historical Aviation, which is why every first Sunday of the month we meet at our headquarters to enjoy it and help spread the word.
Flight exhibitions and contact data
Our flight exhibitions take place monthly every first Sunday, excepting January and August, at Madrid-Cuatro Vientos Airport, Real Aeroclub de España. Carretera de la Fortuna 14, 28054 Madrid
We can host up to 2430 visitors, no registration needed. Tickets are available on site and also on line.
Contact Phone Number: (+34) 91 508 57 76
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org