The Tours/Saint-Avertin airfield
For the 1910 Semaine d'Aviation de Touraine the Comité
d'Aviation de Touraine leased 100 hectares of farmland on the
border between the communes Saint-Avertin and Saint-Pierre-des-Corps,
east of Tours. The airfield was situated southeast of central Tours,
around 2.5 kilometres from the railway station, between the river Cher
and factories owned by the Saint-Gobain company.
The installations included six big hangars, two grandstands with a
total length of 300 metres, a signal mast and several buildings for the
secretariat and other services. Lawns for standing spectators extended
for 2,000 metres around the race course, which had four pylons and a
lap of 2,200 metres. The aerodrome was encircled by 5,000 metres of
fencing. An extra grandstand was built on the other side of the Cher,
on the hill of Ecorcheveau.
The airfield site is unrecognizable today. During the 1960s the Cher
was broadened, straightened and relocated around 400 metres to the
north, in order to enable development of the area and reduce the risk
of floods. The river now crosses the original airfield site. Almost
half of the old airfield is covered by either the Cher or the
artificial lake Lac des Peuplerais.
A plan of the airfield (after aeroplanesdetouraine.fr). Spectator
areas are indicated with grey colour.
- Timing pavillion and signal mast
Well-dressed visitors in front of the main grandstand. (1)
Looking westwards from the grandstands towards the hangars. (1)
Chávez flying past the time-keepers' pavillion and the signal
mast, against the background of the cliffs on the south side of the
Dickson in his #16 Farman flying in front of the line of hangars. (3)
The back of the hangars, seen from the southwest side across the
Cher. Küller, Chávez and Molon are flying, the postcard says, but the
sky looks painted and it's probably a montage. (2)
An amazingly similar angle, but twelve days after the end of the
meeting and a bit more leaves on the trees. The Cher, more than three
meters above its normal level, had risen high above the hangar
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