[Leppich's Airship] A New Cheat Unit for the Game

The timeline that [Age of Empires 3] covers wasn’t exactly a prominent time period where aircrafts were used for offensive manners. The only aircraft that existed during this timeline was the Hot Air Balloon and it was only used for reconnaissance and observing the battlefield.

Though ideas for using balloons in warfare was suggested or attempted by some people in the 19th century. The bombing of Venice in 1849 by the Austrians is probably the best example of an early aerial assault that was realised through the use of Hot Air Balloons, where they used around 200 unmanned balloons that each carried a bomb which would be dropped on the city. However, this attack was largely unsuccessful since most of these balloons blew up in the air or flew back to the Austrian forces through the wind. Though the use of these balloon bombs did succeed in intimidating the citizens of Venice, and where the city surrendered to the Austrians shortly afterwards.

Another good example is an airship that a German engineer by the name of Franz Leppich tried to make during the 19th century as well. Unlike the Hot Air Balloons that were used by the Austrians against Venice, which were essentially early Incendiary Balloons, the aircraft that Leppich intended to make was going to be manned by people and be used as a bomber of some kind.

Franz Leppich did apparently try to make an appeal to Napoleon Bonaparte in 1811 initially where he told him that he could make this aircraft for his army, but Napoleon both forbade Leppich from conducting further experiments and ordered that he be removed from French territory. But a year later Leppich started to work together with the Russians for developing this balloon and he went by the name of “Schmidt” based on the passport that he got from the Russian secret service. The airship had many problems during its development and when it was finally the time try it out it could then only move up a couple of meters and it wasn’t able to move against the wind. By the time Napoleon began his invasion of Russia in 1812, Leppich’s airship was still not ready and the prototype that he made was destroyed. After the Battle of Borodino Leppich continued to work on his airship for another year near St. Petersburg, and then he left for Germany. There he worked on the device until 1817, though the airship was never used.

When it came to the design of the aircraft then the balloon itself was supposed to be elongated or have a shape that was very similar to the ones that were used by dirigibles instead of being ball-shaped, which was something that every Hot Air Balloon had. This oval shaped balloon would then be attached to a 20 meter (around 65 feet) wooden platform, which would support 40 rowers that will use giant paddles to power the aircraft. This platform would also be armed with gun mounts around its perimeter and given compartments for fuse bombs.

What do you guys think about this would it be interesting to have a cheat unit like [Leppich’s Airship] for the game?

Here is a link if you want to known more about the airship that Leppich tried to make in better detail.

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We already have a new cheat unit. It is called ‘Hakkapelit’.

One of the pictures below is the same as the one I showed in the original post, but this time the balloon of the airship is painted, which probably gives a slight hint as for what it would like like in reality.