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Lebuady 190 / 1910 Morning Post
Two large dirigibles were ordered by Great Britan from France. The second airship, the Lebaudy, was purchased by the Morning Post newspaper as a gift to the nation, despite the fact there was at that time no shed large enough to house the 337 foot long craft. After protracted negotiations with the War Office agreement was reached to provide a new shen at Farnborough.
The Lebaudy had a gas capacity of 353,000 cu.ft giving a gross lift of 10.4 tons, powered by two 135hp Panhards. Colonel Capper had flown aboard her during trials earlier in the year in France and had reported favourably on her capabilities.
The airship was flown to England on 26 October 1910, maned by a French crew of seven and two representatives of the War Office including Major Bannerman who had succeeded Templer as superintendent at Farnborough. They crossed the coast at Cao Gris Nez, the airship easily overhauling the escorting destroyers at a speed of 35 mph.
After an uneventful flight of 5 hours 15 minutes the airship landed at Farnborough. On being taken to the shed the major in charge of docking became concerned that the top of the airship was too high to pass under the shed entrance, but was overruled by a senior officier who insisted the ship be walked in at once.
As the Lebaudy entered the shed the upper portion of the envelope was torn by the roof girder work, causing the ship to collapse and become a total wreck. It would appear that the dimensions of the ship supplied before the erection of the shed were different from the craft as completed, with the diameter being some 10 feet wider.
The wreckage was dragged into the shed and followed by an inquiry, during which the War Office refused to pay the purchase price to the Lebaudy Company, declared them negligent in not advising them of the increased diameter of the envelope. It was eventually agreed the Lebaudy Freres would foot the bill to repair and make the ship airworthy.
During the winter months the shed roof was raised by 15 ft, and a complete reconstruction was started. A test flight of the refurbished airship took place in May 1911 in the hands of the manufacturers with an all French crew. Soon after takeoff and following a short flight, problems with directional control were experienced, most likely due to the craft being badly rigged following certain modificatins to the suspension system.
The crew limped back to Farnborough where while attempting to land the airship lost control and dived into the round, crashing on to a house and becoming a complete wreck. There was no fire and the crew suffered only minor injuries.
Lebuady 190
Envelope volume: 353,000 cu.ft
Length: 337 ft
Width: 39 ft
Height: 64 ft
Gross lift: 10.4 ton
Disposable lift: 2.6 ton
Engines: 2 x 135 hp Panhard
Speed: 38 mph
Range: 600 mi
Crew: 7
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