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The first dirigible balloon
The marine engineer Henri Dupuy de Lôme (1816-1885) is known for having created the first steam-powered warships. In 1870, the Academy of Sciences chose him to design the first airship. Dupuy de Lôme built a 6.5-metre boat-shaped gondola topped by a 36-metre long hydrogen-filled balloon. A 9-metre diameter propeller was driven by a winch operated by two teams of four strong sailors who took turns every half hour. On 2 February 1872, the airship “Dupuy-de-Lôme” rose to an altitude of over 1,000 metres and travelled 56 miles (90 km) between Paris and Noyon (Oise).
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