To Non-Java ALLSTAR Network Website
Please let me remind all of you--this
material is copyrighted. Though partially funded by NASA, it is still a
private site. Therefore, before using our materials in any form, electronic or
otherwise, you need to ask permission.
There are two ways to browse the site: (1) use the search button above to find specific materials using keywords; or,
(2) go to specific headings like history, principles or careers at specific levels above and click on the button.
Teachers may go directly to the Teachers' Guide from the For Teachers button above or site browse as in (1) and (2).
At the end of this block of study, you should be able to:
5.23 Define airship.
5.24 Explain the importance of J.B.M. Meusnier and Henri Giffard to aviation.
An airship is a lighter-thanair vehicle that is
steerable and powered. The problem with the hotair,
hydrogen, and helium balloons was that they were at the mercy of
the wind. In 1784, a French general, J.B.M. Meusnier,
made several suggestions which would eventually lead to
successful airships. First, he suggested changing the shape of
balloons from a sphere to the shape of a football. This would
reduce air resistance and also establish a front and rear for the
balloons. He also suggested an envelope made of several
compartments and a passenger car shaped like a boat attached to
the bottom of the airship. The one problem Meusnier did
not solve was how to power the airships. He did, however, suggest
that 80 men could turn a large propeller.
The next breakthrough came in 1852 by another Frenchman, Henri Giffard. He built a cigar shaped balloon 114 feet long and 39 feet In diameter. The airship was powered by a threehorsepower steam engine which propelled it at a speed of about five mph. The airship is generally considered as being the first successful one in the world. However, it was not until the invention of the gasoline engine in 1896 that airships became a real success.
Send all comments to email@example.com
© 1995-2018 ALLSTAR Network. All rights reserved worldwide.
Updated: 12 March, 2004