Chitty Bang Bang (airship)
|Chitty Bang Bang|
|National origin||United Kingdom|
|Primary user||Filming the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang|
Chitty Bang Bang was an airship built for the 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It was intended to represent the airship of Baron Bomburst of Vulgaria. Although fictional in inspiration, it was a fully functional flying airship.
The semi-rigid airship, whose appearance was designed by Ken Adam, was an approximate replica of a 1904 Lebaudy airship. The envelope was symmetrical fore-and-aft and short and deep compared to typical rigid airships, with pointed ends above the centre of the envelope that gave it the distinctive Lebaudy "hooked" appearance. The gondola was a long open truss structure beneath this and a crew basket beneath, with the typical Lebaudy feature of cruciform control surfaces at the rear of the gondola.
The airship was built in 1967 by Malcolm Brighton. It was only the second British airship to be built post-war, the first being the Airship Club's 1951 Bournemouth. It was also the first British airship to be mainly filled with helium rather than hydrogen, though it was topped up with hydrogen.
The envelope was 112 feet long, with a width of 30 feet and height of 44 feet, giving a volume of 37,000 cubic feet (1,000 m3). A single Volkswagen Beetle engine of 40 hp drove two two-bladed propellers. The small Lebaudy control surfaces made the airship difficult to control in pitch.
On one flight by Malcolm Brighton and Derek Piggott the airship collided with two sets of high-voltage power wires, causing much damage. Soon after it was repaired, a freak storm tore the point of attachment of the mooring ropes, destroyed it totally.
- Hyperion, another fictional Lebaudy-styled airship from the 1974 film The Island at the Top of the World
- Ventry, Lord; Koleśnik, Eugeène M. (1976). Jane's Pocket Book of Airship Development. Macdonald & Jane's. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-356-04655-6.
- "Up, Up, And away". Compressed Air. Vol. 73 no. 4. April 1968. p. 13.
- Jane's, Airship Development, p. 29
- Jane's, Airship Development, p. 93
- Piggott, Derek (1977). Delta Papa - A Life of Flying. Pelham Books, London.
- "Bomburst's airship arrives at the Castle" (Film still).