The heyday of airships is at the beginning of the XX century, the period of the First World War and the period between the world wars. The first global war has promoted this type of technology to show themselves and as a weapon. Prospects for the introduction of airships as bombers were known in Europe before the First World War and the actual implementation of them in this role. Back in 1908 the British writer HG Wells in his book "The War in the Air" depicted as a battle airships destroy whole town and the fleet.
Unlike airplanes, airships to the beginning of the First World War constituted a formidable force acting (while light reconnaissance planes could take only a few small bombs). By the beginning of the war some of the more massive aeronautical powers were our home, which was in St. Petersburg, a large "Aeronautic Park" with more than 20 airships and Germany possessed at that time, 18 aircraft of this type.
During the war, the military airships were in a particular brain manual command. From time to time they were attached to the fighting armies and fronts. At the very beginning of the war blimps have been used in combat missions under the control of their officers seconded to the General Staff. In this case, given the role of commanders airships watchkeeping officers. It should be noted that the success of the office due to Schütte-Lanz and successful design solutions Zeppelin airship in Germany had significant The advantage of to all other nations of the world. Proper implementation of this dignity could bring Germany is very great benefit, namely to implement the deepest exploration. German aircraft can cover a distance of 2-4 thousand kilometers at a speed of 80-90 km / h With all this blimps could bring down on the heads of the enemy tons of bombs, so just touch the 1st airship August 14, 1914 at Antwerp led to the complete destruction of 60 homes, another 900 homes were damaged.
On the history of Russian airship very great saying that the Russian harness slowly, but fast ride. In the XIX century guided balloons have not risen in the Russian sky. Many people, especially Western scholars aeronautics, believe that this was due to the backwardness of the royal of, but this statement is incorrect. In Russia, even then actually performed all the necessary equipment, as well as in the advanced countries of Europe, but now with airships decided to wait for that to not wasting waste of public funds. It was decided that it would be better to take the ready and more successful design, and only then adapt them for their own purposes, and the realities of exploitation.
Only in 1906 began to take shape the contours of the airship, which would be eligible for the next up and adapt it for use on the territory of Russia. Chief Engineer's Office Russian Empire specially seconded to France, the whole delegation of engineers and professionals for the development of on-site experience of the most advanced airship. The choice in favor of France, not Germany, with its rising into the sky cyclopean Zeppelin, explained by the fact that in those years, Germany is a geopolitical opponent of Russian Empire, and all the new German military developments and experiences zaavesyu surrounded by secrecy. With all of this "total curtain" was not in the General Staff through a network of agents receive info and quite disturbing. Giants like Zeppelin airships in one fell swoop could mix with the earth a Cossack regiment or very damaging center of St. Petersburg.
That's when the time came when the Russian Federation had to begin to act, the forthcoming delay could result in severe consequences for many military units and cities in the country. Here comes such a time when many foreign (especially German) researchers aeronautics very much do not agree with all this, such omissions compare heresy. They are starting to be seen in the Russian Empire airship separately from the development of general aviation. With all of this ignores the fact that the backwardness of the country in the construction of airships bomber was compensated by the development of Air Force aircraft biplane, armed with machine guns mnogokalibernymi. For the German airship meeting with such aircraft (especially a few) was tantamount to death.
Only this can explain the fact that the German Zeppelins never flown in Russia. Russian biplane could very well beat them. For the first time in the history of Russian aviation pilots began to use an unusual technique to deal with the giant airships: alternately going to the goal, the pilots with their own guns turned massive airship cabin into a sieve, then they were deprived of most of the team and management. In the 2nd entry planes could use the latest at the time gun — unguided incendiary rockets. Although the missiles they could be called a stretch, most of all, they were like modern firecrackers "on a stick" just sheer size. Such missiles could set fire to the airship from the 1st volley.
If we talk about Russian airships, they produced more on the principle of "to be." In 1908, the sky got very first Russian airship with the telling title "Training." From this machine then do not expect any great results because it was a real test board. With all of this "training" for those years had a solid rate of climb, overtaking on the characteristics of the "Zeppelin" and very often used for training crews.
In 1909, Our homeland acquired in France, semi-rigid airship, which was named "the Swan". At this airship perfected not only their implementation strategy, and overall suitability for the role of airships in the fighting. With all this acquired results were disappointing. In case the enemy advanced air defense, airships of the attacking force quickly transformed into a huge target.
At this time in Russian military circles was made the only right decision at the time, which is ahead of its time. The airship was assigned only the role of reconnaissance aircraft, which over time could be in the air, hovering over the front line. At the same time, the main striking force (for the first time in history) was selected bombers. Specifically in Russia aeronautical engineers and Mozhayskiy Sikorsky developed the first in the world of strategic
aircraft — bomber "Ilya Muromets" which could transport up to 500 kg. bombs. From time to time for the growth of bomb load was removed from the ship part of the defensive machine guns and ammunition. With all of this data planes could soar into the frost, fog, rain, and consumed by his own direct purpose. Specifically for Bomber was the future, these ships came to replace the airships.
Russian airships until 1917
First Russian airship "Training." Built in 1908 in Russia. Length — 40 m, width — 6,6 m, the envelope volume — 2000 cu. meters, width — 6.6 m, maximum speed — 21 km / h
Airship "The Swan". Was purchased in France in 1909 (the original title of «Lebaudy», built in 1908). It was the first airship, which the War Department ordered abroad. Length — 61 m, width — 11 m, the envelope volume — 4500 cu. meters, maximum speed — 36 km / h
Airship "Merlin." It was built in 1910 in Russia, length — 70 m, width — 11 m, the envelope volume — 6900 cu. meters, maximum speed — 43 km / h
Airship "Golden Eagle". Was purchased from France in 1910 (the first title of «Clement-Bayard», 1910-built). Length — 56 m, width — 10 m, the envelope volume — 3500 cu. meters, maximum speed — 54 km / h
Airship "Dove." It was built in 1910 in Russia on Izhorskij, located in Kolpino near Petrograd, designed by Professor van der Fleet and Boklevskogo, also an engineer VF Naydenov involving Captain BV Golubova. Length — 50 m, width — 8 pm, the envelope volume — 2270 cu. meters, maximum speed — 50 km / h During the First World War, this airship carried out a number of reconnaissance flights over enemy lines with all this "Dove" is not flew. In October 1914 he was evacuated to Lida, where the blimp was dismantled, packed it back in the summer 1916, but because the airship was on the open camp, during a storm it was damaged shell.
Airship "Hawk". Was produced in 1910 in Russia Joint Stock Company "Dux", placed in Moscow. Designer was AI Shabsky. Length — 50 m, width — 9 m, the envelope volume — 2800 cu. meters, maximum speed — 47 km / h
Airship "The Seagull." Was purchased in France in 1910 (the first title of «Zodiac-VIII», 1910-built). Length — 47 m, width — 9 m, the envelope volume — 2140 cu. meters, maximum speed — 47 km / h Also in 1910 in France, was acquired by the same airship «Zodiac-IX», received the title of "Kite".
Airship "Grief." Was purchased from Germany in 1910 (the first title of «Parseval PL-7", 1910-built). Length — 72 m, width — 14 m, the envelope volume — 7600 cu. meters, maximum speed — 59 km / h
Airship "Forsman." Russia was purchased in Sweden by order of the Russian military. This airship is the smallest in the world. Planned acquisition of a series of small airships for the conduct of the intelligence service in the Russian army. Was airship delivered in Russia is unclear. Due to the small volume of the airship he was no gondola, which was used instead of the board for the pilot's seat and mechanics, the weight of the motor with a power of 28 hp was 38 kg. Length — 36 m, width — 6 m, the envelope volume — 800 cubic meters. meters, maximum speed — 43 km / h
Airship "Red-footed Falcon." It was built in 1912 in Russia at the "Dyuflon, K. & Co.", the designer was Nemchenko. Length — 45 m, width — 8 pm, the envelope volume — 2150 cu. meters the highest rate — 50 km / h
Airship "Falcon". It was built in 1912 in Russia on Izhorskij. Length — 50 m, diameter — 9 pm, the envelope volume — 2500 cu. meters, maximum speed — 54 km / h
The airship "Albatross-II». Was created in Russia in 1913 on the basis of the airship "Albatross", built on Izhorskij in 1912. In the middle of the airship has an elevation — machine-gun nest. Length — 77 m, width — 15 m, the envelope volume — 9600 cu. meters, maximum speed — 68 km / h
Airship "Condor". Was acquired in 1913 in France (the first title of «Clement-Bayard», 1913-built). Length — 88 m, width — 14 m, the envelope volume — 9600 cu. meters, maximum speed — 55 km / h
Airship "Parseval-II» (maybe was called "Puffin"). Was purchased in Germany (1st title «Parseval PL-14", 1913-built). This airship was well on its flight in the middle of all the features of airships available to the Russian Federation until 1915. Length — 90 m, width — 16 m, the envelope volume — 9600 cu. meters, maximum speed — 67 km / h
Airship "Giant." Was created in 1915 in Russia Baltic factory in a special slipway in the village Salizi near Petrograd. Length — 114 m, width — 17 m, the volume of the shell — 20,500 cubic meters. meters, the highest speed — 58 km / h Naikrupneyshim airship was built in the Russian Empire, but at the same time the first flight has suffered its own tragedy.
Airships "Black Sea-1" and "2-Black Sea". Were purchased from England in 1916 (the first title of «Coastal», 1916-built). Envelope volume — 4500 cu. meters, the highest speed — 80 km / h A total of 4 ordered the airship of this type, in the end, "Black Sea-1" and "2-Black Sea" performed a series of flights, "Black Sea-3" was burned at the boathouse, and the "Black Sea-4" and has not been compiled.
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