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Publication Account

Date 1986

Event ID 1017789

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/event/1017789

The former First World War seaplane base, situated at Stannergate just E of Dundee, was one of several established by the Royal Naval Air Service along the E coast of Britain for conducting reconnaissance and anti-submarine operations. Occupying a 25-acre (10.1 ha) site on the banks of the River Tay, the base was initially equipped with two hangars and a slipway, suitable for serving seaplanes such as the Short 184. The hangars were possibly transferred from an earlier base at Port Laing on the River Forth (NT 134811). By April 1918 a third hangar of more substantial dimensions had been erected, with adjacent slipway, along the E side of the site in order to house the larger Curtiss H-12 and Felixstowe F2A flying-boats. This hangar, which can be identified as the tall building in the middle background axial with the slipway, is now all that remains of the original complex.

Classified as an F-type hangar-of which two later examples built in the 1920s also remain in Scotland at Evanton, Ross and Cromarty, and West Freugh, Wigtownshire, 46-it has a structural frame of all-metal construction set out on a 17ft (5.18m) regular grid. The main area measures 204ft (62.18m) in length by 104ft (31.70m) over a clear roof span, with headroom ('ceiling') of 27ft (8.23m). There is, in addition, a single-storeyed range which extends along the W side. The trusses are of lattice-style construction, and the principal wall-members-cast with the maker's name 'THE FRODINGHAM IRON & STEEL CO LTD, ENGLAND'-are made up of U-channel sections. Externally, the end-walls are reinforced with raking members, but the main architectural feature of the building is the E wall, which was capable of being opened in sections over its entire length. Framed wheeled doors, each 51ft (15.55m) in width, were manually operated by a crank-and-chain drive. The minimum of fixed supports were used to carry the guide-rails and eaves-girder; these supports comprised latticed stanchions at each end and raking frames at the midpoints, where the girder spanning the double-width central opening is deeper and projects above the eaves-line. Both the roof and walls were clad with corrugated asbestos sheeting of the 'Trafford Tile' pattern, then a relatively new material.

Information from ‘Monuments of Industry: An Illustrated Historical Record’ (1986).

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