The "Belgique" was a 4.200m3 airship constructed by Louis Goddard at Paris and used by the Service Aérostatique from 1910 onwards.
The Belgique III was in fact the third extensive modification of the basic Belgique airship previously owned by Mrs. Goldschmidt and
Solvay, who donated the machine to King Albert. Transferred to the Compagnie d'Aérostiers du Génie, the Belgique III was used up
to September 1914 from Wilrijk, Antwerp. When the Germans took this town, the machine was disassembled and transported to France.
Still manned by the Belgian Commandant Soucy, the Belgique III was equipped with the gondola of the vedette Zodiac to become the
VZ 5 based at La Rochelle and later Rochefort for coastal surveillance duties. The VZ 5 having been operational until at least 1919 was
offered back to Belgians but the government didn't have any use for an airship anymore.
Special thanks to Jean-Pierre Lauwers for providing additional detailed information.
The extraordinary and complete history of the "Belgique" airships can be found in the study:
"Les dirigeables -Belgique-" by Olivier Orban ( in French language)
Last updated 28/01/13 18:09 Daniel Brackx