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Signal Corps Dirigible No. 1

Over the past few years the CECOM Historical Office has accessioned a large number of items, including photographs, documents, and other items. By using our blog site, we will be introducing some parts of this collection. In this blog article we will discuss some newly discovered era documents related to the original Signal Corps 1, a Dirigible. This Blog article is offered as an update to a blog released on this site 11 July 2011.

The revision is rather exciting, in that we are adding information pertaining to era documents that were generated by the Signal Corps. The documents found are part of a collection of early “Signal Corps Bulletins.” This particular set of bulletins apparently began publication in 1906, and ran through 1912. They in large part are informational or advisory publications as described below.

Signal Corps Bulletins No. 5, ca 1907, is titled “Comprising Signal Corps Specifications on Dirigible Balloons and Heavier-Than-Air Flying Machines.” This bulleting contains “Dirigible Balloons Specification No. 483”, and “Heavier-Than-Air Flying Machines Specification 486.”

Signal Corps Bulletin No. 9, 22 April 1908 is titled “Aeronautics.” This bulletin includes a discussion on dirigibles with photographs of a helicopter and aeroplanes. The bulletin defines aeronautic terms, then applies the terms to various forms of flight, including the dirigible.

Signal Corps Bulletin No. 10, is titled “Dirigible Balloons.” It includes a lecture that was delivered at the Society of Mechanical Engineers in May 1908. The lecture is a technical presentation on dirigible balloons. A second part of this bulletin includes a paper titled “How to construct a Balloon, the Making, Inflating and Sailing of Gas balloons. This paper was prepared by B. Courtright, an Aeronaut.

Signal Corps Bulletin No. 13, “Aeronautical Notes”, ca 1911, is a presentation of additional information that addresses instruments and the purchase of “Dirigible Balloon No. 1.” Also included is a discussion of Signal Corps No. 1, the aeroplane. This bulletin includes photographs and some related diagrams.

These items and other communications-related documents and photographs are available for review at the CECOM Historical Office. The Historical Office is located at Aberdeen Proving Ground. If interested, the reader can also contact the Historical office through our “contact us” Web page at

First Signal Corps No. 1 in flight hangar at Fort Myer

First Signal Corps No. 1 in flight hangar at Fort Myer

This post was written by Floyd Hertweck.

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