Claude Villa was born on January 24, 1928 in Belle-Isle-en-Terre (Côtes d’Armor). A member of the X-48 graduating class from École Polytechnique, he joined the Saint-Cloud design office in 1951. Here, he served as technical liaison with the Villaroche test center for the Mystère II and the Ouragan. He continued this coordination work for the programs that followed.
In 1969, Claude Villa was permanently assigned to Istres, then became director of all the test centers (Brétigny, Cazaux, Île du Levant, Istres, and Villaroche). Under his leadership came new developments such as anechoic chambers for whole aircraft and simulation benches for aircraft systems operation.
He passed away on September 12, 2016.