Istres - Aircraft Hangar
- department: Bouches-du-Rhône
- Municipality: Istres
- naming: Aircraft hangar
- address: avenue Georges Guynemer
- authors: Ferdinand ARNODIN (engineer), Gustave EIFFEL (engineer)
- date: 1919
- protection: unprotected building
- label patrimoine XXe: Commission régionale du patrimoine et des sites (CRPS) of 28 November 2000
The end of the Great War led to a significant reduction in air activity in France. As the need for pilots diminished, most flying schools were dissolved, but the Istres school retained its notoriety. As early as 1919, work began on roads, water supplies and the construction of buildings. The constant influx of student pilots requires a "chain" instruction, a source of serious disadvantages: intensive use, excessive stress on staff. From day to night, a maximum number of aircraft are put on the flight line, but also in service for ground instruction. At the end of 1919, the facilities were sufficient to accommodate, on the camp of Istres, the aerial elements hitherto scattered in Paty, Mas Guirand and Miramas: the planes were grouped in four hangars "Arnodin" newly completed near the Tubé runway. Only the HM4 hangar, now restored, survived.
It is the French engineer Ferdinand Arnodin (1845-1924) who is responsible for the construction of these hangars with railing beams of the type called semi-rigid: fourteen metal pylons 17 meters high, of Eiffel design, resting on the foundations by steel ball joints, support by oblique cables a sheet steel roof.
All the towers, all the elements are assembled together at the Ferdinand Arnodin factory in Château-sur-Loire in order to avoid any unforeseen, any false maneuver or waste of time in the assembly. The technique of making hangars uses the principle of amovibility which consists in arranging and resting any part without damaging it and without compromising the stability of the structure.
Moreover, the holes in the metal parts are drilled in the drill because the punching would have worked the metal and created a great difficulty to blow the rivets during disassembly. This type of construction, despite the imposing dimensions (96 m long, 43 m wide and 10 m high), guarantees an excellent resistance to the strong mistral blowing in the region.
- Editor: Major Jean-Paul Gros, Air Base 125, Istres, 2006