Lebaudy Frères

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Lebaudy Frères was a French sugar producer based in Moisson, France. In addition to sugar, they also made a series of semi-rigid airships in the early years of the twentieth century, some of which saw service with several European armies.


Paul and Pierre Lebaudy were the owners of a sugar refinery who, with the assistance of their engineer Henri Julliot as designer, built semi-rigid airships which saw service with the French army, the Russian army and the Austrian army.[1]

They constructed an airship hangar at Moisson, near the River Seine downstream from Paris[2] and were instrumental in the development of airships in the first decade of the twentieth century.

Their semi-rigid airships were considered useful for military purposes and several were ordered by the French War Ministry.[3]

Airships designed by Henri Julliot for Lebaudy Frères[edit]

Lebaudy Frères, Moisson près Mantes (Seine-et-Oise). Builders of pressure airships of the keel-girder type to the designs of M. Henri Juillot (sic). Keel-girder of steel-tubing, forming a rigid understructure. Trim controlled by lifting planes.

According to "D'Orcy's Airship Manual", 1917[4]
Works No. Name
Length (m) Beam (m) Volume (m³) Power (h.p.) Speed (km/h) Notes
1 Lebaudy
(November, 1902)
56.5 9.8 2,284 40 35
An artist's impression of the first Lebaudy airship.
Experimental airship. Astra hull. One Mercedes engine ; twin-screws. Ballonet : 300 m³. Was the first successful modern airship. Best endurance : 98 km. in 2.75 hours. Refitted with a new hull, the airship made 12 ascents but was carried away by the storm on August 28, 1904, and badly damaged. Was repaired and eventually rebuilt. Ballonet: 500 m³. Resumed her ascents, but was again laid up for repairs of her hull, which had been torn by the storm when landing at the Camp de Châlons. Reached on Nov. loth, 1905, twice in succession an altitude of 1,370 m. Her builders sold the airship to the French 'Army for the nominal sum of Frs. 80,000 ($16,000) in December, 1905.
la Lebaudy II.
(August, 1904)
56.5 9.8 2,660 40 35 -
Ib Lebaudy III
(July, 1905)
56.5 10 2,950 50 35 -
Ic Lebaudy IV
(October, 1908)
61 10.3 3,300 70 40 French Army airship, as rebuilt by the Army Airship Works. Ballonet : 650 m³. One Panhard-Levassor engine; twin-screws. Best altitude, 1,550 m. (in 1908). Was moored in the open for 17 days in the autumn of 1909. Dismantled in 1912.
2 Patrie
(November, 1906)
61 10.3 3,250 60 45
Patrie in 1907.
French Army airship. Ballonet :650 m³. One Panhard-Levassor engine ; twin-screws. Best endurance:240 km. in 6.75 hrs, after reconstruction. Was carried away by the storm on November 30, 1907; foundered in the Atlantic.
2a (November, 1907) 61 10.9 3,650 60 45 -
3 République
(June. 1908)
61 10.9 3,700 70 50 French Army airship. Ballonet: 730 m³. One Panhard-Levassor engine : twin-screws. Best endurance (in closed circuit) : 210 km. in 7.25 hrs. Was destroyed in mid-air on August 25, 1909, through the breaking of one screw which burst the hull. The crew of four were killed.
4 Lebedj (ex-Russie)
(May, 1909)
61.2 10.9 3,800 70 49 Russian Army airship. One Panhard-Levassor engine; twin-screws. Ballonet : 900 m³.
5 Liberté
(August 1909)
65 12.5 4,200 120 45 French Army airship, as originally (August, 1909) laid down. Was modified, on account of the disaster of the République, before being commissioned.
5a (June 1910) 84 12.8 7,000 120 53 Two Panhard-Levassor engines ; twin-screws. Designed endurance : 8 hrs
Dismantled in 1914.
6 M. II
(May, 1910)
- - - - - Austrian Army airship. Built to Messrs. Lebaudy's designs by the Motor-Luftfahrzeug Gesellschaft of Vienna.
7 Morning Post
(September 1910)
103 12 9,800 270 55
The British Army's Lebaudy Morning Post airship taking off.
British Army airship, purchased by a national subscription started by the London daily newspaper Morning Post. Ballonet : 2,500 m³. Two Panhard- Levassor engines ; twin-screws. On October 26, 1910, the airship flew from Moisson to Aldershot (370 km. in 5.5 hrs), but was damaged on being berthed. Re-commissioned a few months afterwards, the airship was wrecked through faulty manoeuvring on May 4, 1911, by stranding in some trees.
8 Lebaudy Kretchet
70 14 5,680 200 50 Russian Army airship, built to Messrs. Lebaudy's designs by the Russian Army Airship Works. Keel-girder, pressure type . Two Panhard-Lavassor engines; twin-screws.


  1. ^ "Military Airships" Flight magazine Global Archive: 1909, p.436
  2. ^ "The Present Status of Military Aeronautics" Flight magazine Global Archive: 1909, p. 119
  3. ^ Patrie ordered by War Ministry Flight magazine Global Archive: 1916, p.1051
  4. ^ d'Orcy, pp.81-87


External links[edit]

Media related to Lebaudy airships at Wikimedia Commons