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This model is available in either 1:1250 or 1:1200 scale (click your choice in the top right hand corner of this page) and is specifically designed for printing in "Fine Detail Plastic". TWO "Drachenballons" are included and 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.
For 1/700 and 1:600 scale modellers there is another CLASSIC AIRSHIPS model HERE.
The Kite Balloon ...from the book Balloons and Airships by Lennart Ege "Almost to the end of the nineteenth century the spherical style of free balloon was the one used for military captive balloons. Their drawback was their unsteadiness in the air, for even if only a slight wind was blowing it made the task of staying in the basket to observe very difficult - and most unpleasant to the occupants, who were apt to become violently air-sick. This was remedied by two German officers, Major August von Parseval and Captain H. Bartsch von Sigsfeld, who set themselves the task of turning out an improved type of observation balloon. The outcome was the ‘Drachenballon’, or kite balloon, so called because it combines both balloon and kite principles. Theirs was not a new idea, but they improved on previous efforts. They created an oblong envelope which was partly supported by the wind when facing it at an inclined angle of 30 to 40 degrees. It was stabilised by means of a control surface, which was later replaced by a large air bag.
Beginning in 1893 they tried different combinations and various sizes of envelopes, from 600 cu.m (21,200 cu.ft) capacity to twice that size, and by 1898 von Parseval and von Sigsfeld had arrived at the type which gradually became the standard of most European armies. By now they had added a stabilising fin on the right and left sides of the envelope to prevent the captive balloon from twisting around its longitudinal axis and, like a kite, it was further provided with a long tail to which one to five parachute-like ‘umbrellas’ were attached. Combined with the stabilising bag, these devices held the balloon facing into the wind.
The August Riedinger balloon plant in Augsburg, Germany, began a regular production of this type of kite balloon, and also supplied various styles of engine-driven motor winches on which the observation balloons were raised into the air and later hauled down again to the ground. The cruisers in the navies of several countries were also equipped with kite balloons, to detect enemy submarines and protect the cruisers against their attacks. It soon became standard practice for the kite balloon to stay completely steady in the air at altitudes ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 m, even in winds of up to 65 km/hr (40 m.p.h.)
Kite balloons were used extensively in World War 1. They soon began to appear in great numbers on the western front, where the Germans employed them to direct their gunfire and report its effects. This, combined with the proclivity of the Germans for eating large quantities of sausages, explains why these kite balloon artillery observation platforms were soon nicknamed ‘sausages’ by the Allies, who in turn copied, built and used them extensively until the French came up with the improved ‘Caquot’ type balloon. Although the kite balloons were in fixed positions, the fighter pilots flying to attack them soon had driven home to them forcefully that this meant first running the gauntlet of a well-adjusted barrage of fire from anti-aircraft guns mounted to protect them. This meant that the kite balloons must be attacked very fast from above in a determined dive on them because they could be hauled down fast. The downing of a kite balloon therefore ranked on a par with a victory in any other air battle. The balloon observer was one up on the aeroplane pilot in one respect, in that he had a parachute hanging on the outside of the basket and could jump to save his life in case of an enemy air attack. It was not until towards the end of the war that German fighter pilots were also outfitted with a parachute in their aircraft."