Ship Type Menu.
Screw avisos (1st class, 200 nhp)

LUCIFER class (launched 1853)
AIGLE (launched 1853)

LUCIFER class screw avisos (1st class)

Displacement: 820t
Dimensions:163ft 2in wl, 169ft 5in deck (168ft 11in in Mégère) x 26ft 3in mld, 26ft 9in ext x 10ft 11in mean, 12ft 5in max. Depth 9ft 4in
Same, meters:49.74, 51.64 (51.48) x 8.00, 8.15 x 3.32, 3.78m. 2.85m
Machinery:200nhp (Rochefort). Trunk (Penn system), trials 9.8kts (Lucifer), 9.1kts (Mégère). Coal 150t
Hull material:Lucifer: Wood. Mégère: Composite (Arman system).
Armament:(1856-8) 2-30p No.1, 2-16cm shell

Name          Builder    Laid downLaunched Commiss. Fate         
LUCIFERRochefort1.5224.5.5324.2.54Stk. 29.10.74
MEGERERochefort4.5219.7.531.4.54Stk. 28.9.75

Class. Two new steamers were scheduled to be begun in 1849: a 300nhp corvette at Cherbourg named Lucifer and a 200nhp aviso at Rochefort named Mégère. They were cancelled in 1848 due to budget cutbacks, but the names were reused for two ships initially scheduled to be begun in 1851 at Rochefort. Sabattier's hull plans for this class, approved in 10.51, closely followed those of the 160hp paddle avisos of the Sphinx class, and even retained the overhanging upper decks of the paddle ships to facilitate their use as transports. Mégère was built on the same plans as Lucifer but using the composite wood and iron construction system developed by the Bordeaux shipbuilder Arman. Her hull was 25 tons lighter than the all-wood Lucifer.

Disposals. Lucifer became a coal hulk at Cherbourg and was BU 1887. Mégère became a sail transport in 1870 and a school hulk in 1875. She served as such at Marseilles from 1882 and was BU 1901.

AIGLE screw aviso (1st class)

Displacement: 773t
Dimensions:163ft 10in wl, 170ft 6in deck x mld 27ft 7in, 28ft 1in ext x 10ft 6in mean, 11ft 9in max. Depth 9ft 3in
Same, meters:49.93, 51.96 x 8.40, 8.56 x 3.19, 3.57m. 2.82m
Machinery:200nhp (Cherbourg)
Hull material:Wood
Armament:(1854) 4, later 6-16cm shell. (1855) 4-30p No.2

Name          Builder    Laid downLaunched Commiss. Fate         
AIGLECherbourg16.9.5217.9.5313.4.54Lost 11.1.58

Class. Mangin designed this ship to the same specifications as the Lucifer class. She also featured a wide deck, borrowed from her paddle predecessors, for carrying 30p No.1 guns or troops. Her plans were approved in 10.52, but a proposal to build two sisters was rejected in 9.52 because the type had become a jack of all trades and master of none, and had neither the speed nor armament to be of much military use in wartime. (Probably as a result of this decision, the first two ships of a new type, the transport-avisos Loiret and Somme, were laid down at Cherbourg in late 1855 to take over the more mundane duties of the old 1st class paddle avisos.) Aigle was renamed Epervier 8.3.58 to make the name Aigle available for a new imperial yacht.

Disposal. Epervier, ex Aigle, was wrecked in the Como river in Gabon.

Copyright © Stephen S. Roberts 2004-2015.