Astra Clément-Bayard

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Astra Clément-Bayard was a French manufacturer of dirigibles.

Clément-Bayard Airship No 4, the "Adjudant Vincenot" circa 1910. Caption from Popular Mechanics magazine 1910

In 1908 the French industrialist Adolphe Clément-Bayard, who had already made a fortune manufacturing cars, motorcycles and bicycles, diversified into the aviation industry. His first project was a lens-shaped airship designed by Louis Capazza, which was never built. He then collaborated with the Société Astra (Société Astra des Constructions Aéronautiques) on the manufacture of a more conventional craft. Astra were responsible for the manufacture of the envelope, and Clement-Bayard took responsibility for the nacelle and engine. After this collaborative effort the company started manufacturing the envelopes as well, at a new factory in La Motte-Breuil built in anticipation of orders from the French Army, who had decided to commence airship operations.

The Clément-Bayard No.1 airship was offered to the French government but was too expensive so it was bought by Tsar Nicholas II for the Russian army.

In 1910 the Clément-Bayard No.2, piloted by Maurice Clément-Bayard, was the first airship to cross the Channel, travelling over 380 kilometres (240 mi) in six hours.[1] The army ordered three.

The company was bought by Citroën in 1922.[1]

The airship hangar in La Motte-Breuil is still maintained by Clément-Talbot Ltd.

Clément-Bayard dirigibles[edit]

Seven Clément-Bayard airships were completed.[2][3]

  • N° 1 was 56.25 metres (184 ft 7 in) long, 10.58 m (34 ft 9 in) wide, 3,500 cubic metres (120,000 cu ft) capacity, powered by 2 Clément-Bayard 115 hp engines. First flew on 28 October 1908.[2]
  • N° 2 was 76.50 m (251 ft 0 in) long, 13.22 m (43 ft 4 in) wide, 7,000 m3 (250,000 cu ft) capacity, powered by 2 Clément-Bayard 120 hp engines. Top speed 54 km/h. First flew on 1 June 1910.[4]
  • N° 3 Dupuy de Lôme, 89.0 m (292 ft 0 in) long, 13.5 m (44 ft 3 in) wide, 9,000 m3 (320,000 cu ft) capacity, powered by 2 Clément-Bayard 120 hp engines. First flew on 1 May 1912.[4]
  • N° 4 Adjudant Vincenot, 88.5 m (290 ft 4 in) long, 13.50 m (44 ft 3 in)wide, 9,800 m3 (350,000 cu ft) capacity, powered by 2 Clément-Bayard 120 hp engines. Top speed 49 km/h. First flew in 1911.[4]
  • Adj Vincenot modified, 87.3 m (286 ft 5 in) metres long, 13.50 m (44 ft 3 in) wide, 9,800 m3 (350,000 cu ft) capacity, powered by 2 Clément-Bayard 120  engines. Top speed 53 km/h. First flew on 13 August 1913.[4]
  • N° 5 livré à la Russie, 86.0 m (282 ft 2 in) long, 13.50 m (44 ft 3 in) wide, 9,500 m3 (340,000 cu ft) capacity, powered by 2 Clément-Bayard 130 hp engines. First flew on 9 February 1913.[4]
  • Montgolfier, 73.50 m (241 ft 2 in)long, 12.2 m (40 ft 0 in)12.2 metres wide, 6,500 m3 (230,000 cu ft) capacity, powered by 2 Clément-Bayard 90 hp engines. Top speed 60 km/h. First flew on 31 July 1913.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Clément-Bayard" (in French). Nos belles anciennes. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b Hydro Retro, Clément-Bayard, pdf (French) Clément-Bayard, sans peur et sans reproche par Gérard Hartmann
  3. ^ Nos belles anciennes – Clément-Bayard, Profile of Gustave Adolphe Clément Archived 15 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b c d e f Blimp n2a, THe Dirigibles of Clement-Bayard Archived 2009-06-28 at the Wayback Machine