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Aircraft Topics related to WWI aircraft, aircraft engines and armament

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Old 8 July 2004, 02:54 PM   #1
Sopwith Camel
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Did WW1 blimps ever try using a machineguns,or weapon for defence?
Old 9 July 2004, 02:03 PM   #2
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When you use the term blimp, are you referring to non-rigid airships or plain balloons ?

Most balloon observers took to option to jump rather then carry a mg up with them, in an already crowded basket.

Rigid and non-rigid airships on the other hand used both mgs and cannons for defence. The Type P had two mgs in front control car, two in the rear engine car and up to three on the top of the envelope. Later Zeppelins used Becker 2cm cannons.
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Old 11 July 2004, 08:49 AM   #3
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Old 12 July 2004, 03:21 AM   #4
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It's indeed so that airships (rigid-semi-rigids and non-rigids or blimps) had during WWI armament on board.
The German airships as zeppelins, Schütte-Lanz,Parseval, had for more a machinegunnerspost on top of airship and into the (motor)sidegondolas.
Some had also a machinegunnerspost on tailside just behind the tailfins.

Also the Allied airships had machineguns and by some French types there was a cannon on board.
These French types with cannons were for more the Chalais-Meudon CM-14
better known as "T-2" (Used by the Americans based in France) which was equipped with a 47 mm cannon in bownose which was loaded horizontally but to shoot upon submarines was turned into vertical position.
A number of Zodiacs were also ordered by them but only 3 were constructed/delivered, of the type ZDUS (Zodiac Destroyer United States) seen the end of WWI! As far I remember with 75 mm cannon.
All other French constructed ones had only machineguns on board + anti submarine bombs!
It's so that to Allied side these airships were only used as ship convoys
surveillance and had as main goal to spot submarines and sea-mines.
Only by the start of WWI French airships were used against the Germans on landoperations. But a few were shot down by the Germans and what was for more overcoming them was that the French Army realised it to shoot on their own airships seen they thought it were Germans!
Due to their vulnerability and these accidents the French decided not to use
anymore airships for land warfare but realised it was the best tool to use them as ships convoy watches seen they could stay very long at same speed of ships into the air,while a plane had compared to these a limited flight time and range while their speed was mostly to high.

Apart of some pre & early WWI period constructed airships (Lebaudy-types), all of the French & British constructed airships were non-rigids (blimp type).
For France : Zodiac, Astra-Torres, and Chalais-Meudon...
The British used types based on Astra-Torres construction and a few Parseval-types...further developed a number of own blimp types.


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Old 19 July 2004, 03:25 AM   #5
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These MG gunners were brave men all.......Sitting on all those bags of hydrogen, waiting for a spark.
Old 19 July 2004, 07:43 AM   #6
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You'd have to be a lot braver to go up with no defensive armament!
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