Barrage balloon, c 1939.
3 3 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 25cm

Barrage balloon, c 1939.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Model (scale 1:25). Barrage balloons were used to protect land-based targets from low-flying aircraft. This forced the enemy aircraft to fly at heights of over 5000 feet where they could be attacked by anti-aircraft guns and fighter aircraft. The balloons, approximately 20,000 feet in capacity, were divided internally into two compartments by a fabric diaphragm, the lower compartment being the air space. As they ascended, the hydrogen in the upper compartment expanded, depresing the diaphragm.

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