French ''Zodiac'' Airship

  • Military Aircraft Of The World
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

The ''Zodiac'' Airships were built by The Zodiac Society of France. The ''Zodiac'' was a Class of Airship designed for use by The French Army as Observation Platforms during World War I. The Society (Company) had been producing such since it was founded in 1898 (mostly Commercial marketing). The ''Zodiac''-Class of Airships were non-rigid Models that were transported to launch locations via Horse Cart. Easily stored and readied for launch, they were initially popular as such with The Army. A total of (13) ''Zodiac'' Airships would be produced, with only (4) seeing direct combat usage. Several other Models were exported to The Russian, Dutch and Belgium Armies as well. Typically, a ''Zodiac'' was between 35 and 140-feet in length. Beams ranged from 10 to 40-feet in height. Cloth Canvas (treated) Skins were inflated with Air mixed with Helium Gas. Command Carts (Gondolas), were made of light-weight metal piping (often open and non-paneled). This helped with air drag. A single Gas powered Engine (propeller) – which produced about 10-mph, provided power. Steerage was provided by a Rudder (and used very much as a Sea Vessels). The release of Gas caused it's rise and eventual descent. The Company (after The War), stopped producing Airships and would begin to produce inflatable boats (many designs of which would be Contracted to several World Armies).