Balloons were first deployed by the British Army’s Royal Engineers during the expedition to Suakin in 1885. The balloon, which was of goldbeater's skin (a thin transparent membrane with great tensile strength which was traditionally used as an interleaf for the manufacture of gold leaf) , covered with a netting. It measured twenty-three feet in diameter. When filled it contained seven thousand cubic feet of gas.This had to be brought all the way from Chatham in the UK, a distance of nearly four thousand miles.
|anyone seen any Fuzzies?|
The balloon would be used above a column of troops at about 200 feet up to give advance visibility - communications was by dropping message down to the ground. Here it is mounted on a 300mm long, 5mm diameter transparent acrylic rod set onto a CD sized base. The rod fits in to the base of the balloon through the basket.
I now need to get my head around making a full ground crew, and transport for the deflated balloon and gas - but that's a project for another day or several.
a few of the pictures i found on line while researching