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Caquot, Albert
Albert Caquot, in a dark jacket in the foreground (the 2 nd from the right), in the premises of the École Polytechnique
Albert Irénée Caquot, born on 1st July 1881 in Vouziers (Ardennes) and died on November 28, 1976 in Paris at 95, was considered “the greatest of living French engineers” for half a century.
Large landowners, his parents, Paul Auguste Ondrine Caquot and Marie Irma Cousinard, wife Caquot, "run a large family farm, adjoining a mill on the banks of the Aisne", in Vouziers in the Ardennes. His father opened this farm to modernism, installing electricity and telephones in his home in 1890.
Just one year after leaving the high school Reims, eighteen years, Albert Caquot received 29 e the entrance exam to the Ecole Polytechnique (class of 1899) which he graduated ranked 15th, and enters the body of bridges and roads.
From 1905 to 1912, he was a bridge and road engineer in Aube, in Troyes, and stood out for the important sanitation measures he developed. These saved many human lives and protected the city from the great flooding of the Seine in 1910.
In 1912, he joined the reinforced concrete design office of Armand Consideration as a partner, where he gave free rein to his talent as a designer of civil engineering structures. In 1914, after the death of Armand Considere, the office became “Pelnard-Considerere & Caquot”. It was in this same context that he worked from 1919 to 1928, from 1934 to 1938, then from 1940.
During his life, Albert Caquot taught for a long time the resistance of materials at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines in Paris, the Ecole Nationale des Bridges et Chaussées and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l'Aéronautique.
During his career he produced more than three hundred civil engineering works of all kinds, several of which were then world records.
Two achievements contribute to its international reputation:
The internal reinforced concrete structure of the large statue of Christ the Redeemer on Mount Corcovado (1931, height 30 m and weight 1,145 t), in Rio de Janeiro, the work of French sculptor Paul Landowski and, for the head of Christ, by Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida.
The Christ of Corcovado whose internal structure is due to Caquot.
The George V Bridge in Glasgow (Scotland) on the Clyde for which Scottish engineers are asking for help.
He devoted his life to aeronautics and civil engineering in alternating periods at the pace imposed by the First and Second World Wars. Albert Caquot's contributions to aeronautics are invaluable, from the development of the propeller engine and the opening up of the Air Ministry to technical innovations, to the founding of the first institutes of fluid mechanics. Marcel Dassault, who was commissioned by Albert Caquot to build a prototype of the postal three-engine program, wrote of him: “He is one of the best technicians that aviation has ever known. He was a visionary who, in all areas, looked to the future. He was ahead of everyone."
From 1901 he carried out his military service in a battalion of balloonists. At the start of the Great War, he found a battalion of balloonists from Toul as captain. For a wind speed greater than 22 km/h, it highlights the great instability of the spherical balloon with which the units are equipped. In 1915, he produced a tapered tethered balloon model equipped with rear stabilizers on the Drachen principle developed by the German August von Parseval, allowing observation by winds of 90 km/h. The Chalais-Meudon aerostatic workshop then began to manufacture “Caquot balloons” for all the Allied armies. The winch with constant braking torque that it creates allows it to adapt its balloons to the Allied fleets (fire control and detection of submarines) and to make them withstand winds of up to 125 km/h. Also called a “sausage”, this captive balloon gives France and its Allies a major strategic advantage. In January 1918, Clemenceau appointed him technical director of military aviation.
A French Caquot type observation balloon in 1915.
In 1919, Albert Caquot was behind the creation of the French Air Museum, today the Air and Space Museum at Le Bourget. It is the oldest aeronautical museum in the world.
In 1935, he built a double canopy hangar 120 m long, 60 m wide by 9 m free height and its annexes for around 10,000 m2 at Fréjus on the naval air base.
In 1928, he became the technical director general of the newly created Air Ministry. It practices a policy of research, prototypes and mass production which gives France back the industry it deserves.
In 1934 he preferred to retire and devote himself again to civil engineering. In 1938, under the threat of war, Albert Caquot was recalled to assume the joint presidency of all the national aeronautical companies. In July 1939, he also took over the role of technical director general of the Air Ministry but, although he had spectacularly turned around the production of aircraft, the obstacles he encountered on the part of the staff and the management of the control led him to submit his resignation in 1940.
Numerous honorary distinctions from all countries that have been awarded to him, including the dignity of Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour in 1951.
He chaired many French scientific organizations for more than twenty years, such as the National Council of French Engineers and the Société d'Enouragement pour l'Industrie Nationale. He was also a director of Electricité de France for more than ten years.
He served 41 years in the Academy of Sciences and was its president in 1952.
In 1961, at the age of eighty, Albert Caquot voluntarily resigned from all the presidencies that he had always provided on a voluntary basis.
His name was given to an amphitheatre of the School of Bridges and Roads located in no 28 of the rue des Saints-Peres in Paris May 25, 1977. The new occupant of the premises, the Institut d'études politiques de Paris, renamed it in honour of Simone Veil on March 8, 2018.
The July 2, 2001, a stamp of CHF 4.50 and 0.69 € is issued for the 120th anniversary of the birth and the 25th anniversary of the death of Albert Caquot. Designed and engraved by Claude Andréotto, the stamp is printed in intaglio on sheets of forty and is distributed in 4.37 million copies.
Since 1989, the Albert-Caquot Prize has been awarded each year by the French Association of Civil Engineering (AFGC) to an engineer.
The 7th promotion of the National School of Engineers Military Infrastructure (ENSIM) was christened Albert Caquot to honour his contribution to the military works.
Distinguished Service Order
Officer of the Order of the Crown of Italy
Commander of the Order of Leopold
Grand Officer of the Order of the Crown of Romania
Order of the White Eagle
Order of the Rising Sun
Order of Saint Michael and Saint -Georges
Croix de guerre 1914-1918
Distinguished Service Medal
Honorary fellow American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (1937)
Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour (1951)
Wilhelm Exner Medal (1962)
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