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This set of TWO CaquotType M Observation Balloons is available in either 1:1250 or 1:1200 scale. They arrive caged together to guard against loss and damage. Cutting the cage releases the two models , each with an observation basket connected by a sprue to the underside of the envelope. Please see the illustration in the carousel above for notes on mounting the model. Each model is just 20.2 mm long by 8.7mm wide in 1:1250 scale and 21mm by 9.1mm in 1:1200.
Developed in 1916 by Albert Caquot, this design had major advantages over the Parseval-Sigsfeld "Drachenballon"( kite balloon) then in use with most of the warring nations and by 1918 it had replaced virtually all of them. The U.S. alone for example, produced over a thousand and the same basic design was used again for barrage balloons during WW2. They were used for the traditional tasks of artillery direction and battleground surveillance on land and at sea they became extremely important in the role of submarine spotting where height enabled the submerged u-boats to be seen.
The Type M was the most numerous of various similar Caquot designs and the largest version of it (930m3) could carry up to three observers and baskets. It was used extensively by the allied armies and navies. Towards the end of the war it was also used (along with Type Rs) in the anti-aircraft balloon curtain barrages of Paris and London as German heavier-than-air bombers became more and more effective.
A general shortage of dyes during WW1 resulted in Caquots normally being yellow or grey, quickly made much darker by exposure to the elements!
(From available photographs it appears that the British Royal Navy at least employedmostly Type Ms. The US Navy and Army units however, more usually used the larger Type R. This had had a more extended, tear-drop shaped envelope than the Type M and is also available in the shop HERE.)