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When we built the first airship

When we built the first airship

Man has long dreamed to conquer the air spaces.

These dreams are reflected in myths, legends, fairy tales and folk tales.

Take up in the sky the first aircraft heavier than air humanity succeeded at the beginning of the last century.

But the controlled flight of an airship was made a half century ago.

The first attempts to create an airship

It is believed that the first proposed the idea of ​​the airshipFrench military engineer Meunier. The inventor assumed to fulfill the aircraft in the form of an ellipsoid, equipped with three propellers. To bring the propellers into action should the muscular strength of a few dozen people had applied. Adjust the height of lift of the aircraft Meunier assumed by changing the amount of gas in the envelope of the balloon.

Meunier The project, developed in 1783, was not implemented, because in those days there was no suitable engine for the balloon.

It took more than half a century. And Fireman Giffard Meunier borrowed the idea and put it into practice. He also helped an acquaintance with the work of the Parisian watchmaker Julien. Being a jack of all trades, Julien decided to implement a special mechanism untethered balloons. Watchmaker has made a three-meter model of the airship, which is placed inside the spring clockwork. Spring famously rotated the two screws located on the sides of the balloon, in appearance resembling a spindle. Julien Toy successfully flown from the ceiling of his studio.
Giffard soon heard about the amazingtoy adaptation of his compatriot and hurried to meet with a watchmaker and inventor. Assessing the essence of the idea, Henri Giffard got down to business. When making his airship Fireman unwittingly copied the idea Meunier, repeating his invention.

Henri Giffard Airship

Giffard airship had more than 40 meters in length andIt was equipped with a steam engine. Pointed at both ends of the balloon was covered in netting, to which was attached a wooden beam below. By the middle of the beam master hung site, where he established a steam engine and propeller with three blades.

Propulsion power could develop a three-horse power that was at that time a great achievement.

By mid-1852 the design was Giffardalmost ready. September 24 the same year, the inventor has carried out its first flight on the airship, flying from Paris Hippodrome. Present at the demonstration the audience was surprised to see how the airship moved through the air by the wind will not, and in the direction that he has chosen the pilot ( "Airships" MJ Arie, 1986).
The first airship was, of course, veryimperfect device. It turned out that the power of the engine did not allow him to move against a strong wind. But Giffard managed to deploy the device in the air and move perpendicular to the wind. Lifting height was more than one and a half kilometers. Since the first successful attempt was made to build the balloon managed type that marked the beginning of a new stage in aeronautics.

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