First Airship to Cross the Seas – Jean-Pierre Blanchard

In 1785 a balloon fitted with flapping wings for propulsion and a birdlike tail for steering flew across the English Channel from England to France. The vehicle was invented and piloted by French balloonist Jean-Pierre Blanchard who also achieved many other firsts in the development of airship technology.

The First Dirigible Takes Flight!

While Francesco Lana de Terzi may be considered the designer of the first airship, Lieutenant Jean Baptiste Marie Meusnier is mostly accepted as the inventor of the dirigible in 1784.

August 29th, 1898 – Look! It’s the Goodyear Blimp!

The first Goodyear factory opened in Akron, Ohio, on August 29th, 1898. The thirteen original employees manufactured bicycle and carriage tires, rubber horseshoe pads, and poker chips. The company grew with the advent of the automobile, and later started experimenting with airship design.

The “Father of Aeronautics”

The invention of the airship dates back almost three and a half centuries to Lombardy, Italy. In 1670 Francesco Lana de Terzi, a Jesuit Father and professor of physics and mathematics at Brescia first published a description of an “Aerial Ship.” Terzi is commonly referred to as the “Father of Aeronautics” for turning the field of aeronautics into a science by establishing “a theory of aerial navigation […]

August 8th, 1929 – Around the World by Zeppelin

Eight years prior to Hindenburg disaster of 1939, another famous zeppelin event occurred in New Jersey. On August 8th, 1929 LZ127 the Graf Zeppelin commenced her journey around the world. The trip was funded by American newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst who sent four of his staffers as part of the nine passengers of the Graf’s “Round-the-World” (Weltrundfahrt 1929). As the major […]

The Legend of the Hindenburg

When one thinks of airships, the image that leaps to many people’s minds is that of D-LZ129, better known as the Hindenburg, consumed by flames to cries of “Oh, the humanity!” The tragic events of May 6th, 1937 are considered the end of the airship era; many know about the death of the Hindenburg, but what about the life […]

The Airship Chronicles – Basics & Beginnings

If a film or TV show needs to illustrate that the characters are now in an “alternative” universe or parallel world, one of the first tropes is to fill the sky with airships. They are the primary image of the Steampunk world and even trump the ubiquitous goggles, but what of the reality of airships […]

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