The aerial flyer "Elizabeth"

From The Boxer Rising (pub. by The Shanghai Mercury, 1895):
"To add to the usefulness of the Peking Relief Squadron, the Admiralty took over the recently-constructed aerial flyer Elizabeth, built at the Armstrong yards with liftwood supplied by HM government with a provision for just such a siezure. Designed to carry two dozen passengers in some luxury between Britain and her colonies, she was converted to a flying troopship...
... the later discovery of 'liftwood rot' among the aerial vessels in Asia caused her to be further converted to a kite, in which form she gave valuable service as a scout and transport for several weeks. During the march to Peking she carried supplies forward, and wounded back to T'ien-tsin."
In Sky Galleons terms:
SS Elizabeth		aerial steam packet/naval transport				
Armor:  0	£12,850
Hull:  1	Speed:  6	
80 tons	        Altitude:  Very High
Crew:           Captain, Helmsman, Trimsman; 1 Deck, 1 engineer, 
                2 Gunners, 1 Marine officer, 9 Marines
Armament:       3" rifled breechloader aft (low velocity 12 pdr)

(Sky Galleons crew conversion to 'real' numbers: 5 gunners, 4 engineers (including the engineering officer), 6 bridge crew (including the captain), 5 deckhands, 1 steward/cook, 100 passengers or marines. Length 150 feet; beam, 40 feet)

Conversion to kite

Kite rigging (10 tons), speed 1d6 with the wind, 1d6/2 against the wind, 0 into the wind. Thus averages 400 nautical miles per day with the wind, 200 miles when travelling 'into' the wind.
The ship's lower deck contains the engine room, coal bunkers and water tanks, plus the cargo hold forward -- the hold has been largely converted to troop berths. The mid deck is only about half the length of the vessel, and contains the passenger cabins and a very nice saloon for viewing the skies ahead. The main deck houses the cabins of the ships' officers and four 'first class' cabins (some of which house the gunners after conversion, and the various diplomats, correspondents, etc. who accompanied the relief squadron). In the midst of theis deck is the wardroom, basically a large dining room. A walkway runs along both sides of this deck, covered from above but open in the gap between the main deckhouse and the smaller aftercastle (containing the machines which move the runners and vanes). On the top deck is the gun, the two funnels, some ventilators, a skylight over the wardroom, and a canvas-screened steering position normally only used in very good weather at low speeds.

1889 Index Page