History of Blimps

Mar 8


Michael John Arnold

Michael John Arnold

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Blimps were first introduced in 1780s. The basic idea was created by Lieutenant Jean Baptiste Marie Meusnier (considered as father of blimps) in his d...


Blimps were first introduced in 1780s. The basic idea was created by Lieutenant Jean Baptiste Marie Meusnier (considered as father of blimps) in his drawing where he presented a 260 ft long balloon in an egg like shape. These blimps are also named airships or dirigible. That idea was the basic start of these airships and later on experts started working on its actual development. Jean-Pierre Blanchard presented a hand fitted airship in 1784. Moreover,History of Blimps Articles Nineteenth century is considered as the actual emergence of blimps when different experts presented their blimps with many improvements. In 1883, an Australian pioneer named as Dr William Bland was sentenced due to his seven years transportation on a blimp.

In 1851, Bland presented an idea of designing a blimp/airship with a steam engine and named it the “Atomic airship.” Bland’s idea was to supply power to airships by the steam engine (just like those installed in cars). Bland’s design was highly appreciated by the experts and the first atomic blimp was introduced in 1952. Henri Giffard was the first person who flew approximately 27 km on a steam power airship.

Paul Haenlein realized that these airships could also be operated by using internal combustion engine running on the coal gas. In 1872, he succeeded in making an airship with internal combustion engine. In 1878, a public demonstration of internal combustion engine was given by the Charles F. Ritchel. Also, Ogneslav Kostovic Stepanovic designed a blimp in 1880s. However, it was damaged by a fire before it flew. Later on, experts endeavored in designing a blimp that could be controlled using electricity.

Gaston Tissandier Siemens presented an airship using electric motor of 1.1 KW in 1883. The first flight of an electrically operated blimp was taken by La France, Charles Renard and Arthur Constantin Krebs after one year of its development. The his blimp was 170 ft long and covered the area of eight (8) km in approximately 23 minutes. The electric motor of 6.3 KW was used in that blimp during its flight.

Meanwhile, Airships and blimps became popular among people. In 1888, Peter C. Campbell ordered an airship company to make a blimp for his personal use, which was named as “Cambell airship.” However, this airship was lost just after one year in the sea along with Professor Hogan after an exhibition flight. After that incident, experts tried to design a blimp with petrol engine rather than electric motor.

Dr. Frederich Wölfert built a blimp in 1888 with the petrol engine. However, this airship caught fire during its flight. In result Dr. Frederich Wölfert and his fellow, both were killed during that flight.

Twentieth century is considered as the best era of blimps and airships because now they can be totally controlled in different weather conditions. Now they are rarely used for passenger transportation purpose, rather they are utilized many other purposes like lifting heavy material by the use of airship, advertising of different companies and exploration of remote areas.

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