"Twin Engine Airship Type C Assembly"
By R.B. for the U.S. Navy, April 17, 1919
Ink and pencil on tracing linen
32 1/4" x 52 1/2" National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the Bureau
World War I Aviation: Type C Airship
Airships attain flight by using contained cells
or envelopes of gases, such as helium or hydrogen, to provide lift. The
first airships were developed in the mid-19th century, but World War I
brought tremendous growth to the field of lighter-than-air craft. They
were used for reconnaissance, antisubmarine warfare, and coastal patrol.
Plans for the Type C airship were initiated in spring 1918 with the aim
of frustrating German submarine and mine attacks on Allied merchant shipping.
The airship carried a crew of six and measured 192 feet in length and
42 feet in diameter. It could cruise at 45 miles an hour, with a range
of 1,540 miles. While the plans for the C-6 were developed in 1918, it
did not take its maiden flight until February 1920.