Interesting Facts About Airships: Use Engine-Driven Propellers

An airship has its own power, which can be navigated through the air. It is an example of a lighter than air aircraft or an aerostat. It can fly on the sky because the airship is equipped with a large gas bags filled with a lifting gas.
An airship is a large lighter-than-air gas balloon that can be navigated by using engine-driven propellers. There are three types of airships: rigid (has an internal metal frame to maintain the envelope’s shape); semi-rigid (rigid keels run the length of the envelope to maintain its shape); and non-rigid (internal pressure of the lifting gas, usually helium, maintains the envelope’s shape).
After the invention of the hot air balloon in 1783, a French officer named Meusnier envisioned an airship that utilized the design of the hot air balloon, but was able to be navigated. In 1784, he designed an airship that had an elongated envelope, propellers, and a rudder, not unlike today’s blimp. Although he documented his idea with extensive drawings, Meusnier’s airship was never built.
Here are some interesting facts about Airships:
1. The semi rigid airships have a firm shape since they are supported by the internal pressure and a supporting structure. The airships can be attached with a fixed keel to maintain the structure and shape.
2. Count Zeppelin was the first person who flew the rigid airship in the world. Then he established a firm used to manufacture the rigid airships. Therefore, many people simply call the rigid airships as zeppelins.
3. The first successfully navigated airship, La France, was built in 1884 by two more Frenchman, Renard and Krebs. Propelled by a 9 hp electrically-driven airscrew, La France was under its pilots’ complete control. It flew at 15 mi/hr (24 km/hr).
4. In 1895, the first distinctly rigid airship was built by German David Schwarz. His design led to the successful development of the zeppelin, a rigid airship built by Count zeppelin. The zeppelin utilized two 15 hp engines and flew at a speed of 25 mi/hr (42 km/hr).
Their development and the subsequent manufacture of 20 such vessels gave Germany an initial military advantage at the start of World War I.
5. Alberto Santos Dumount, a citizen of Brazil living in Paris invented the first passenger-carrying non-rigid airship in 1898. Under a sausage-shaped balloon with a ballonet or collapsible air bag inside, Dumount attached a propeller to his motorcycle’s engine. He used both air and hydrogen, not helium, to lift the blimp.
6. Airship is a type of an aircraft. It takes the record as the first aircrafts that can be controlled and powered. The transportation was often used in 1940s. Since the development of aeroplanes, the usage of airships was reduced.
7. There were some high profiles accidents when people used airships. Some of them are 1937 burning of the hydrogen-filled Hindenburg, the 1933 storm-related crash of the USS Akron and 1930 crash and burning of British R101 in France.
8. The helium in United States was discovered in significant amount. Therefore, people decide to use helium rather than using hydrogen. In 1960s, most airships in the world have been filled with helium. Others are equipped with hot air.

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