The Airship Could Have Saved the Confederacy... !


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5fish

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Union Army will not be outdone the plane:


Colonel Edward Wellman Serrell, a professional engineer serving with the Union Army of the James in 1864, designed this flying machine, Reconoiterer, ...

1548257352222.png


Here is a link about this union army plane:

https://airandspace.si.edu/stories/editorial/civil-war-planes

Here is a snippet...

In a recent post, Tom Paone described the plans of William Powell, a resident of Mobile, Alabama, for aConfederate helicopter. In fact, Powell’s scheme was only the tip of the iceberg. In researching a scholarly paper on Civil War Planes, I have catalogued a score of plans for powered flying machines developed on both sides of the battle lines. Perhaps the most interesting of these was the work of Colonel Edward Wellman Serrell , a professional engineer serving with the Union Army of the James in 1864. Inspired by the well-known hand-held helicopter toy, Serrell had begun studying aeronautics several years before the War. Once in uniform he conducted full-scale tests of metal rotor blades in the field, then convinced his commander, General Benjamin Butler, to order him to duty in Philadelphia, where he raised the money with which to build his Reconoiterer, a flying machine designed to conduct reconnaissance missions over enemy lines.


Based on these designs we find Steampunk was alive and well in the 1860's...
 

5fish

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Here is a history of flight... maybe the Confederacy could have created a gilder crops...

Snippets...

June/July 1853 (Yorkshire, England) — Man flies in a heavier-than-air craft — A human has flown in a heavier-than-air machine. This summer, a coachman of Sir George Cayley flew across a valley at Sir George's home in Brompton Hall, near Scarborough, in a glider built to his master's design. When he got out he gave in his notice. “I was hired to drive, not to fly,” he shouted.

1843_Cayley2.jpg
What distinguishes Cayley from a host of the eccentric aerial experimenters is his grasp of aerodynamics, shown in a silver disc he engraved in 1799. On one side of the disc, he sketched a diagram of the physical forces acting on a wing and on the other an airplane - complete with fuselage, elevator, tailplane, and rudder - powered by flapping panels. In 1804 he built a model glider with fixed wings and movable tail control surfaces, and also tested airfoils on a whirling-arm device, and in 1809 he built and flew the first ever successful full-size glider.

His interest in flying rekindled by the recent strides of Hanson and others, he set to work building a triplane with a tail worked buy the occupant. He also he has also developed a tubular beam system of construction for aircraft. [1]


Snippet...

December 1856 (Sainte-Anne-la-Palud, France)— French Captain Jean Marie Le Bris flies 600 ft in his Artificial Albatross glider. Jean-Marie Le Bris (1817-1872) was a French aviator, born in Concarneau, Brittany, who accomplished a glider flight in December 1856. A sailor and sea captain, Jean-Marie Le Bris sailed around the world observing the flight of the Albatross bird. Although he sailed around the world, his true ambition was to fly. He caught some of the birds and analyzed the interaction of their wings with air, identifying the aerodynamic phenomenon of lift, which he called “aspiration”.


Snippet...
  • March 1957 (Brittany, France)— Jean-Marie Le Bris crashes while attempting to fly a glider of his own design. The machine is destroyed and Le Bris is injured. [1]
Le_Bris2.jpg
Le Bris built a glider, inspired by the shape of the Albatross bird and named it L'Albatros artificiel (“The artificial Albatross”). During 1856 he flew briefly on the beach of Sainte-Anne-la-Palud (Plonévez-Porzay, Finistère), by being pulled by a running horse, facing towards the wind so that people can not say he flew using the wind. He thus flew higher than his point of departure, a first for heavier-than-air flying machines, reportedly to a height of 100 m (330 ft), for a distance of 200 m (660 ft).





Snippet... with steampunk...

  • March 1957 (Brittany, France)— Jean-Marie Le Bris crashes while attempting to fly a glider of his own design. The machine is destroyed and Le Bris is injured. [1]

  • 1857 (France) — Félix Du Temple flies clockwork and steam-powered model aircraft, the first sustained powered flights by heavier-than-air machines. Félix du Temple de la Croix (1823-1890) (usually simply called Félix du Temple) was a French naval officer and an inventor, born into an ancient Normandy family. He developed some of the first flying machines.
    Temple2.jpg
    He is credited with the first successful flight of a powered aircraft of any sort, a powered model plane, in 1857. He is sometimes also credited with the first manned powered flight in history onboard his Monoplane in 1874, twenty-nine years before the 1903 flight of the Wright brothers. He was a contemporary of Jean-Marie Le Bris, another French flight pioneer who was active in the same region of France.
    Félix du Temple accomplished the first successful flight of a powered aircraft of any sort, a model plane that was able to take-off under its own power, in 1857. There are however competing claims for the first “assisted” powered flight, with John Stringfellow's experiments in 1848. [5]

Here is the link: http://www.skytamer.com/1850-1859.html
 

lordroel

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The union balloon crops had hydrogen so I am guessing the South could have found a source.

The point is if the Confederacy had put it's money and brains into development of airship. They would have created the soills, and technology for an airships...
Did the Confederacy have their own Balloon Corps like what the Union had.
 

major bill

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Based on available technology, all that balloons were useful for would be observation. There was not technology available that would allow a useful payload of bombs and no ability to hit targets. At best a very limited harassment bombing mission might be conducted and even this might not allow the balloon to return to friendly held areas.
 

5fish

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Did the Confederacy have their own Balloon Corps like what the Union had.
I could not find any official Confederate balloon crops but the famous story of the "Silk Dress Balloon"... whole article!

https://airandspace.si.edu/stories/editorial/most-fashionable-balloon-civil-war

Snippet...

This fashionable, multi-colored patchwork creation of various materials brought about the nickname by which it was often called, “the Silk Dress Balloon.” This construction even brought about rumors that followed the balloon well after the war. James Longstreet wrote, “A genius arose for the occasion and suggested that we send out and gather together all the silk dresses in the Confederacy and make a balloon.” This fictitious story was often repeated in various post-war writings. Once finished and sent to Richmond, the “Silk Dress Balloon” was handed over to General Edward Porter Alexander in order to begin the observations. In his memoirs, General Alexander explained, “We could not get pure hydrogen gas to fill the balloon, & had to use ordinary illuminating gas, from the Richmond Gas Works…” This gas, created from coal, was primarily used to light gas lamps in homes and on streets throughout the city of Richmond. After the balloon was filled in Richmond, it was attached to a train car and moved to the front. Alexander made his first observations during the battle of Gaines Mill, from which he was able to signal Union troop movements to his fellow officers.

The system worked well at first, and the Confederate forces decided to move their operation to the water. The silk balloon was loaded onto an armed tug called the Teaser, and the ship would bring it from the Gas Works to the front lines along the James River. This system, however, eventually led to the demise of the Gazelle. The Teaser, loaded with the Gazelle, ran into Union naval forces on the James River, and was fired upon and captured by the U.S.S. Maratanza. The balloon was given to Thaddeus Lowe, who cut it up into scraps to give as souvenirs. Our patch of the balloon was donated to the museum by the Lowe family.
 

Tut11

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Regarding a potential Confederate Air Force, during my research for a project, I discovered an original Confederate States patent document with illustrations of a potential Confederate helicopter. I will share those images here in an additional posting when I access my other computer files.==AC
Be very interested in those please do.
 

USS ALASKA

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Did the Confederacy have their own Balloon Corps like what the Union had.
Collection; Master of Military Art and Science Theses
Title; Balloons of the Civil War.
Author; Culpepper, Steven D.

Abstract; This historical study investigates the military effectiveness and combat power of Civil War balloons. The categories inherent to military effectiveness include timeliness, accuracy, usefulness, operational considerations, and logistics. Limited by available material, especially those documenting Confederate efforts, this paper highlights the history of ballooning prior to the Civil War, and focuses on the Union balloon operations during the initial fall and winter of 1861-2, the Peninsular campaign, and Chancellorsville. The analysis of the measures of effectiveness from these three periods indicates the Union balloon corps amply validated its worth. War, however, is more than just a science. In this case, the “art” of warfare better explains the collapse of Thaddeus Lowe's organization after Chancellorsville. The first two modern implications of this case study involve both the unfavorable impact of personality, and the commander's influence on the assimilation of new technology. Are we better today at bringing on line the benefits associated with technology? The final point links to the concept of battle command. With the massive infusion of information available to the modern commander, are we still sending him to the lions without a whip?

Series; Command and General Staff College (CGSC) MMAS thesis
Publisher; Fort Leavenworth, KS : US Army Command and General Staff College,
Date; Original 1994-06-03
Call number; ADA 284682
Release statement; Approved for public release; Distribution is unlimited. The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are those of the student-authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College or any other governmental agency. (References to these studies should include the foregoing statement.)
Repository; Combined Arms Research Library
Library; Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library
Date created; 2007-07-28
534

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

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5fish

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Here remember those airplanes as a kid you whined the rubber band and then let it go and it would fly. Well, that was a historical feat we were reenacting...

Alphonse Penaud builds what he calls a"planophore," a 20-inch long monoplane with a pusher propeller powered by a rubber band. It flies 131 feet in 11 seconds — the first flight of an inherently stable powered aircraft.
 

USS ALASKA

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Regarding a potential Confederate Air Force, during my research for a project, I discovered an original Confederate States patent document with illustrations of a potential Confederate helicopter. I will share those images here in an additional posting when I access my other computer files.==AC
Be very interested in those please do.
Where did you find those sir? I would also be interested. I would have thought, incorrectly obviously, that those papers would have been destroyed when Richmond burned...

From the Richmond Dispatch,
6/7/1861, p. 3

The Patent Office. - This branch of our new Government is about going into operation, and, we are glad to observe, under the most favorable auspices. Commissioner Rhodes has arrived from Montgomery, opened his department at Goddin's building, and in every short time will be ready to proceed with business. It has been frequently said that little or no inventive talent exists in the South, and that we must depend upon the North for the various improvements which lessen labor and save time. That this is a false impression - false as the thousand and one slanders against the character of the Southern people which have been so persistently set forth by the Northern press - the yet untouched business of our Patent Office already affords ample proof. No less than one hundred and twenty applications for new patents, forty applications to revive old ones, forty caveats filed for future action, and numerous assignments for record await the action of the Commissioner. The income thus accruing to the Government is not less than five thousand dollars; and though war has been going on almost since the great political movement was initiated, instead of being repressed, the inventive talent of our people has been stimulated to an extraordinary degree. Events must continue to develop it, and whenever peace ensues, we shall be able to present to the world as fair a showing in the improvements of art as has been done by the mechanics of the North. Heretofore we have been dependent, because we could enjoy results without the trouble of producing them. But that time has now past. The emergency is bring out our resources, showing the stamina of the people, and teaching us that if we have a destiny to fill, we must be our own architects.
564

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

JPK Huson 1863

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Back in 1908, I think it was, the Italians used a Wright flying machine to drop hand-grenades on Arab rebels in Libya --scared the bejeebers out of them, but didn't do any real harm. A letter in Scientific American, however, insisted that aircraft could never be successfully used to bombard enemy troops because "the concentrated rifle fire of an entire regiment" would render the attempt almost suicidal.

Great grandfather was in Serbia around 1914, Red Cross called for surgeons to replace those killed by typhoid. Page in his journal devoted to how, during time off, they went to town to watch bombings? Have always gotten a kick out of his description of pilots holding those things in their laps then pitching them overboard. In their laps, or the guy in a seat behind them did.

Took shots of the damage- they could blow holes in buildings, seem to be less than a good storm.

will plane crop.jpg

French single seat, have one somewhere of a two seater.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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One airship ( description in one of the threads John Hartwell posted ) an inventor shopped to the Confederacy was what he called the rock crusher. Toss rocks from the balloon onto towns- seriously. That was the aerial battle plan. No clue why no one bought it. :angel:
 

wbull1

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One airship ( description in one of the threads John Hartwell posted ) an inventor shopped to the Confederacy was what he called the rock crusher. Toss rocks from the balloon onto towns- seriously. That was the aerial battle plan. No clue why no one bought it. :angel:
My guess is it was poorly named. I can imagine quartermasters thinking, "Why would I want to crush rocks? The danger is from those dratted flying machines."
 

JPK Huson 1863

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My guess is it was poorly named. I can imagine quartermasters thinking, "Why would I want to crush rocks? The danger is from those dratted flying machines."

You'd think? I'm seriously not arguing, the description of what it was supposed to achieve is included in the inventor's presentation. Have a feeling professional military men may have spent some time laughing- inventor seemed baffled why his idea wasn't implemented.
 

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