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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 234721
Last updated: 5 June 2020
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Date:04-MAY-1911
Time:evening
Type:Lebaudy Morning Post Airship
Owner/operator:British Army
Registration: Unregistered
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 7
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Junction of Reading Road/Farnborough Road, Farnborough, Hampshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Test
Departure airport:Farnborough Airfield, Farnborough, Hampshire
Destination airport:
Narrative:
The Lebaudy Morning Post was a French semi-rigid airship built for the British Army in Moisson, France, by manufacturers Lebaudy Frères. The airship was commissioned by the newspaper The Morning Post, who created a fund to purchase the airship and present it to the British Army. The airship's envelope was damaged on the delivery flight and then it was destroyed on a subsequent trial flight after repair. At the time of construction it was the largest airship that had been built in France.

The airship made its first flight on 14 September 1910 and this was followed by a series of test flights before it was formally accepted by the Army.

The Morning Post left Moisson, France on delivery to Farnborough at 10:15 in the morning of 26 October 1910, carrying eight people including the pilot Louis Capazza and three passengers: the designer Henri Julliot, the newly appointed commander of the Army Balloon School Major Sir A. Bannerman, and a representative of the Morning Post.

By two o'clock on the same day it had reached Brighton on the English southern coast, it then travelled north over Horsham towards Aldershot. It soon approached North Camp at Farnborough for an attempted landing on the common close to the Army Balloon Works. Due to the strong winds it took a number of approaches to the common before troops managed to grab the ropes and secure the airship. The airship was towed to a balloon works shed specially built to house it. It was soon realised it would be a close fit but as it had been measured to fit for the Morning Post all that was required was that care was taken in moving the airship into the shed. With all but ten feet inside the shed, a large hiss was heard as the envelope had caught on a girder. A number of troops were under the airship as it collapsed but nobody was hurt.

On 4 May 1911 the Morning Post was on its first flight since being damaged on 26 October 1910 when it was delivered. The airship with a crew of seven was at the end of the one-hour trial flight, it had deployed ropes to allow the soldiers on the ground to bring the ship to the ground, the men could not hold it. The airship drifted into some trees and the envelope burst, causing the airship to collapse over the trees and a house. One of the French mechanics was badly burned but all the crew were rescued from the debris.

The Morning Post never flew again. The incident was reported in a contemporary newspaper (The Bystander -Wednesday 10 May 1911)

"THE SECOND COMING-TO-GRIEF OF THE NATIONAL AIRSHIP
THE WRECK OF THE LEBAUDY AIRSHIP AT FARNBOROUGH LAST THURSDAY
The Lebaudy airship, purchased through the "Morning Post" for presentation to the nation, has come to grief a second time. Last October it fouled its shed at Aldershot, after a fairly successful trip from France, and collapsed. A. new envelope became necessary, and on Thursday evening last a second effort was made to test the mammoth - the largest airship of its kind in the world. The trip ended in disaster. The dirigible got out of control, fouled telegraph wires, had its envelope pierced by tree tops, and finally collapsed across the house of Lady Mildred Follett. The machinery is said to be intact, but it is very unlikely that the Lebaudy will ever be presented to the nation. It is a very Jonah among airships"

The site of the crash is now the Farnborough Telephone Exchange.

Sources:

1. The Sphere - Saturday 13 May 1911
2. The Bystander - Wednesday 10 May 1911
3. "La Dirigeable "Morning Post". l'Aérophile (in French): 563–5. 15 December 1910.
4. "Airship's Channel Flight - Accident at Farnborough". News. The Times (39414). London. 27 October 1910. p. 6.
5. "The "Morning Post" National Fund Airship". Flight: 769. 24 September 1910.
6. "La Dirigeable "Morning Post Traverse La Manche". l'Aérophile: 522. 15 November 1910.
7. "Army Airship Wrecked". News. The Times (39577). London. 5 May 1911. p. 8.
8. http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=13276.0
9. https://www.historicflyingclothing.com/en-GB/miscellaneous---general/fabric-from-lebaudy-airship-crashed-c-1911/prod_14663#.Xod7JohKjIU
10. https://www.historypunk.co.uk/posts/20
11. http://www.past-to-present.com/M51910
12. http://collections-search.bfi.org.uk/web/Details/ChoiceFilmWorks/150460250

Lebaudy Morning Post Aiship in flight October 1910Lebaudy airship RAE-O426 Wreck of the Morning Post at Farnborough, Hampshire 4 May 1911Lebaudy airship RAE-O565aAviation in Britain Before the First World War; Lebaudy airship crash RAE-O1018

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
03-Apr-2020 18:10 Dr. John Smith Added

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