French Aeronefs and Aerostat
France still maintains a large and diverse empire and because of that she needs to maintain a large fleet of R-Matter Aeronef as well as a fleet of Aerostat bombers. The Empire is spread over a large distance, encompassing territory in Africa, the Americas and the Far East. The Service Aéronautique, as the traditionalists refer to it avoiding the more commonly used term in the popular press of the Armée de l’Aeronef, needs to maintain a large fleet of cruising type vessels to keep the peace in the far flung reaches of the French empire as well as to provide vessels large enough to withstand not only the deprivations of likely foes but also, and perhaps more importantly, be big enough to impress the natives.
To that end, the Armée de l’Aeronef tends to prefer lighter armoured craft than their other European opponents, lighter craft that rely on speed rather than armour to win the day. These craft, however, carry effective armaments and are capable of meeting the best vessels of the other European powers on an equal footing. The French are also at the forefront of the development of fixed wing craft as part of their Service Aéronautique force. As a result, they maintain several squadrons of these craft. They have also developed the means to carry these aircraft some distance, using converted Aerostat for that purpose.
These Aeronef are generally arranged into flotillas on an ad hoc basis, depending on the tasks that need to be undertaken. Generally a flotilla will contain from two to six vessels and several flotillas may be combined into a battle group to meet specific threats or operational needs. Fixed wing aerocraft are also organised into squadrons and assigned to the flotillas as needed.
That eminent publisher and commentator on matters military in Peshawar, Wessex, notes that
Blimps, Dirigibles, or similarly Aerostat are monstrous airships kept aloft by huge gas-filled bags, frequently encased in a solid structure. Neither fast nor manoeuvrable, these awesome craft can carry a payload that brings riches in peace time, or a destructive cargo of death in war… Most major powers use their Aerostat as ground attack bombers, though some powers (such as the United States and Germany) with limited R-Matter resources are forced to use Aerostat in other capacities.
Previous Articles on Peshawar
Previous posts referring to Peshawar are:
- Peshawar – Capital of the New World – Introduction
- Peshawar – Background and Timeline to the Great Game
- More Aeronefs and Land Ironclads
- Peshawar – The French – Part 1
- Peshawar – The French – Part 2