early ballooning in the USA
Charles hydrogen balloon
Napoleonic military balloons
balloons in the US civil war
Military balloons 1850 - 1900
Santos Dumont
Henri Giffard
the Baldwin dirigible
balloons in World War 2
balloons to the stratosphere
record balloon flights
balloons and meteorology
science research and balloons
airships today

the Baldwin Dirigible

Captain Thomas S. Baldwin
at Newport News, 1916


Dirigible No. 1 in hangar at Fort Myer, Virginia.

The Baldwin dirigible in flight.

During the summer of 1908, the U.S. Army tested the Baldwin dirigible. Lts. Lahm, Selfridge and Foulois flew the dirigible. Thomas Baldwin was appointed by the United States Government to superintend the building of all spherical, dirigible and kite balloons. He built the first Government airship in 1908. An American inventor Thomas Baldwin built a 53-foot airship, the California Arrow. It won a one-mile race in October 1904, at the St. Louis World Fair with Roy Knabenshue at the controls. In 1908, Baldwin sold the U.S. Army Signal Corps an improved dirigible that was powered by a 20-horsepower Curtiss engine. This machine, designated the SC-1, was the Army's first powered aircraft.