Service Technique de l’Aéronautique

Operator Profile


Narrative Summary

The Service Technique de l’Aéronautique (STAe) was the French national agency for coordinating aeronautics research. It was first created in 1916 under the name Section technique de l’aéronautique. A comprehensive set of research facilities was build at Issy-les-Moulineaux, including wind tunnels and other laboratories. In 1918 the functions of the STAe were formally defined as responsibility for prototypes, test and research and was divided into five services (aircraft, engines, armament, flight test and inventions).

Circa 1919/1920 the STAe was renamed Service Technique de l’Aéronautique. Until 1940 the STAe was deeply involved in defining the technical aspects of aircraft airworthiness regulations. In 1945 it lost its flight test function to the CEV. Thereafter the service became more of a research organisation. Additional sections set up over the years included rotary wing, armament and ‘special equipment’ (i.e. missiles). On 1 January 1980 the STAe was broken up and its facilities assigned to other government departments.

During the interwar years, and even into the 1950s, the STAe was responsible for drawing up all the official requirements for military, (both air force and navy), and government aircraft, against which manufacturers would tender their designs. The STAe would then conduct flight tests on the selected prototypes and recommend to the operator which type, (if any), should be chosen for production.

Key Dates

21 February 1916    Section technique de l’aéronautique first established.
1919?    Renamed Service Technique de l’Aéronautique.
1945    Flight test role passed to CEV.
1 January 1980    STAe broken up between various government agencies.

Current Status

The STAe was broken up on 1980.

Future Plans

Not applicable.


Special Markings

STAe aircraft often operated in a natural metal finish with rudders stripes in the national colours. No service titles wwere carried.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

STAe aircraft carried standard French civil registrations, e.g. Farman F.290 F-AKET.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used


Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

The STAe must have used a significant number of aircraft for flight testing of aerodynamics, engines, weapons and systems but very little appears to have been published that identifies specific aircraft. Additional information is welcome.

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Farman F.60 Goliath 1 1922 1925+ France
Farman F.290 1 1933 1934 France

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.


Main Headquarters

Service Technique de l’Aeronautique, Paris, France.

Organisational Structure

All aircraft were operated by the STAe.

Current Unit Assignments

Not applicable

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

The research centre was at Issy-les-Moulineaux, but the main air base for flight testing was Villacoublay.

More Information


To be added


To be added

Websites Service Technique de l’Aeronautique
Le Farman Goliath
Le Farman 190

Any further photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.