Signal Corps Dirigible No. 1
|Signal Corps Dirigible No. 1|
|National origin||United States|
|Designer||Thomas Scott Baldwin|
$5,737.50 in 1908
Signal Corps Dirigible No. 1 was the first powered aircraft ordered for the Signal Corps by the Aeronautical Division of the United States Army. The purchase of SC-1, a dirigible designed by Thomas Scott Baldwin was the result of urgings by Chief Signal Officer Brigadier General James Allen. After seeing Baldwin demonstrate a dirigible at the St. Louis air meet in 1907, Allen had urged the U.S. Army to buy a dirigible as many European armies had dirigibles by the turn of the century.
On 5 August 1908, the Army tested SC-1 at Fort Myer, Virginia. The craft fell short of a 2 hour, 20 mph objective to meet a $8,000 per unit award. The Army formally accepted the craft as Signal Corps Dirigible No. 1 paying $5,737.50. On 28 Aug. 1908 Lieutenants Frank Lahm, Thomas Selfridge and Benjamin Foulois were taught to fly the craft.
On 26 May, pilot Lieutenant Lahm and Lieutenant Foulois made a flight in SC-1 at Fort Omaha and manoeuvred the craft at will. SC-1 remained there until scrapped in 1912. The Army did not purchase another dirigible until after World War I.
Specifications (Signal Corps Dirigible No. 1)
Data from Smithsonian
- Capacity: 1
- Length: 93 ft (28 m)
- Volume: 20,000 cu ft (570 m3)
- Useful lift: 1,360 lb (620 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Curtiss , 20 hp (15 kW)
- Maximum speed: 17 kn; 32 km/h (19.61 mph)
- Cruise speed: 12 kn; 22 km/h (13.75 mph)
- Baldwin Dirigible: U.S. Army\'s First Airship. National Museum of the United States Air Force. 22 May 2010. URL:http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=665. Accessed: 2010-05-22. (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/5pvYz7arq)
- Tom D. Crouch. Aero Club of Washington: Aviation in the Nation's Capital, 1909-1914. p. 39.
- "Army News: Dirigible No 1", Aeronautics; Volume 5, Number 1, July 1909: 10