From Inventing aviation
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A dirigible (or "dirigible balloon", "Ballon dirigeable" etc.) is an LTA aircraft which can be actively piloted. This term might be synonymous with airship.

Overview of historical development

France led the development of dirigibles, with early attempts by Henri Giffard and Henri Dupuy de Lôme‎. La France, produced by the French military at Chalais-Meudon in the 1880s, was considered one of the most successful dirigibles of the period.

Later on, German rigid airships became well-known as Zeppelins after Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who developed a line of these ships. (However, let it be noted that there was a lively dispute over who really invented the rigid airship.)

Ratio of power to speed

[...] the power necessary to communicate increasing speeds to the same airship increases proportionately to the cube of the speed. This law has been demonstrated by calculation and verified by experience. It is of vital importance, for it leads to various conclusions of the utmost moment. Thus to double the speed of a dirigible balloon, we must give it a motor power not twice, but eight times greater (8 is the cube of 2; 8=2x2x2).[1]

Index of 19th-century French dirigibles and the sizes and speeds of their propellers.


See Ballon dirigeable on Wikipédia; also w:Airship and w:de:Luftschiff.

This wiki has 134 patents in category "Dirigibles". Other techtypes related to Dirigibles: Airship, CH 129a

Patents in category Dirigibles

Publications referring to Dirigibles

Patents in categories dirigibles or dirigible

Patents in categories dirigible or dirigibles


Enclosing categories LTA
Keywords Balloon, Navigation, Propulsion, Aerostat
Start year
End year