The Institut Geographique National (IGN) was established in June 1940, shortly after the French surrender to Germany. The intention was to replace the previous military mapping service with a civilian organisation which was outside of the remit of the German occupying forces. The IGN survived the war and in 1947 was tasked with making new maps of war damaged France and its colonial territories. To accomplish this huge task, the IGN obtained a number of war surplus B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft from the USAAF to carry out a comprehensive photographic survey of the entire country. IGN maps have been continously updated ever since. In 2012 the IGN was merged with the Inventaire Forestier National to form the Institut National de l’Information Géographique et Forestière (National Institute of Geographic and Forestry Information), but keeping the IGN acronym.
|1887||Service Géographique de L’Armée (SGA) created|
|26 June 1940||IGN established as civilian replacement for SGA.|
|1947||IGN tasked with making new maps of all of France.|
|1948||Aircraft fleet greatly expanded.|
|1 January 2012||IGN merges with Inventaire Forestier National.|
The IGN aircraft are used for photo surveying and map making.
No plan known.
Early IGN aircraft operated in a natural metal colour scheme. This was later refined with addition of a white upper fuselage and a red and white IGN insignia on the nose and fin. More recently, aircraft have adpted an overall white colour scheme with a blue fuselage cheatline and blue/white/red fin markings. The blue IGN logo appears on the fin.
Aircraft Serial Numbers
IGN aircraft carry French civil registrations, e.g. Super King Air 200 F-GALP.
Coding system not used
None – Manufacturers designations used
Current Aircraft Inventory
|Aircraft Type||Total Del’d||Total Active||Still on Order||Role|
|Beech King Air 200T||4||2||0||Mapping|
All-Time Aircraft Used List
Aircraft NOT Used
The IGN was interested in operating the Sud Est SE.1010, but the prototype was lost in a fatal crash in 1949.
IGN, 73, avenue de Paris, 94165 SAINT-MANDÉ CEDEX.
All aircraft are operated by the flying unit of the IGN.
Current Unit Assignments
Historical Unit Assignments
All-Time Flying Units List
Current Air Bases
All IGN aircraft are based at Creil (BA110), but this airfield will close as a military base in October 2016, so a move may be necessary
All-Time Air Bases Used List
French Aviation Bibliography – to be added
No feature articles known.
Unresolved Research Issues
It is not clear what aircraft, if any, were operated between 1940 and 1946.