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The Roundabout of the plane

It is part of the culture and traditions of Mendoza. We all know and have once passed through the mythical roundabout of the plane.

La rotonda del avión

A plane nestled in the center of a roundabout. It even sounds surreal. Many wonder as they pass: is it a real plane?Have you ever flown?Where did they get it? Here we answer those questions and tell you the story of the plane's roundabout.

First of all, it is important to clarify that it is basically a vehicular roundabout. It is that,  in the place, several important streets such as the Mathus Hoyos lane, the Costanera and Jujuy Street, which gives access to  Mendoza City.But, in the middle of the roundabout, an intrepid plane takes all eyes  . For more than 40 years it has been heading south to the Malvinas Islands, becoming a message that the Fourth Air Brigade wanted to give when donating the aircraft.

 The history of the plane 

In 1958 these  Morane Saulnier  aircraft arrived in the country from France and were distributed in three provinces, one of which was Mendoza.  They were used to train pilots and were then replaced by the Pampa.In 1968, the specialization in combat aviation was created in Mendoza, so 33 were concentrated in the province . They were used for shooting training, in which cases the pilots were real brave. They could deploy a steel cable with a sleeve, on which other planes fired shots. In addition, during the Malvinas War this ship performed functions for which it was not created: it went into the sea off the coast of Argentina to perform fleet reconnaissance and detect English ships. A specimen of these looks slender at the roundabout of the  plane , so that the people of Mendoza do not forget . 

 A plane in the city 

The actions to remove the MS 760 Paris aircraft from the characteristic roundabout began a month earlier, as staff of the Fourth Brigade dedicated themselves daily to lubricate the bolts that hook the aircraft with the support to loosen them. 

Early in the morning, on the day of their transfer, the personnel responsible for the removal were stationed at the site to assess the conditions of the activity. Around 10 o'clock, more movement began to be noticed, as the experts began to get on the plane and placed the necessary zunchos to lift it. At about 11.30 the crane lifted the aircraft and slowly moved it to the cart that was arranged for its transfer.It was not an easy process, as the skilled personnel had to maneuver the ship from the tail using large ropes and preventing it from tilting too much . 

Once in the cart, where truck rubbers were placed to avoid damage to the plane, he took it to the airport where he had to enter, because because of its size it was impossible for him to enter through the gates of the Brigade without being disarmed. 

 Restoration of the roundabout of the aircraft 

In  September 2019, the roundabout was reopened after renovations  that included two new bridges connecting important streets in the 3 departments that border each other:  Guaymallén ,  Las Heras and Ciudad. 

In addition, the works included  the reconstruction of the pavement slabs, the restoration of  ditches  and sidewalks, the construction of docks for left turns, the incorporation of LED lighting and intelligent semaphorization installation. 

 Restoration of the aircraft 

As for the restoration process, it carries the same work as an airplane in flight. It was a long 10-day process of painting. The color was changed to the original camouflage that carries between 5 and 6 colors . But first it was necessary to remove all the dirt that he collected for more than 10 years in the Costanera. In addition, the service lights were repositioned to make it more visible at the  roundabout . Led lights were placed and now uses the same energy as the roundabout luminaire. 

Publication Date: 05/08/2020

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