The "Cartouche Dore" are a French Air Force aerobatic display team.
The team consists of four Socata TB 30 Epsilon piston-engine training planes, but they only use three of them for displays, as the fourth aircraft is a spare. The pilots for the team are also instructor pilots, so they must train for shows in their spare time. The team also uses technicians drawn from the aviation school in Cognac, which is the team's home base.
The occasion of 100,000 flying hours on the TB 30 Epsilon training plane was celebrated in Cognac airbase on 2 June 1982. For this special occasion, three pilots from the base formed an aerobatic team with three Epsilons for the celebration. The aircraft were originally painted in black and yellow color scheme, which inspired their name of "Cartouche Dore" (Golden Patron). The team was originally created just for this particular event but the resulting show made a very positive impression on the public. The team was then invited to perform another demonstration in Salon de Province for the graduation ceremony of new pilots. The team was originally "unofficial" and used to perform at only approximately 12 shows per year.
In 1994, during commemorative ceremonies for the Normandy invasion, the team performed a display in a new paint scheme - overall white, blue and yellow, which has been retained to the present day.
In 1995, the team received permanent status and officially became a unit in the French Air Force. On 20 September 1996, "Cartouche Dore" made its 100th public demonstration.