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Rigid as a keyword means 'rigid airship' — i.e. a design using an inflexible frame. The rigid airship is said to have been invented in the late nineteenth century. Joseph Spiess and David Schwarz were some early designers working along these lines. Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who began constructing Zeppelins around the turn of the century, is the best known rigid-airship maker.

The rigid airship is more expensive and difficult to build but has the advantage of maintaining its shape despite changes in atmospheric pressure and quantity of gas.[1]

One source calls rigid-frame LTA aircraft "structure airships" and contrasts them with "pressure airships".[2] (The latter might have been considered the default type of airship, especially before the Zeppelin era. We don't at present have a clear designation for this type of vessel on the database.)

Patent FR-1910-422155 features minimal, and selected, aspects of rigidity, that most conducive to propulsion, while maintaining maximum elasticity overall.

Enclosing categories LTA
Keywords Balloon, Frame, Aluminum, Compartments, CPC B64B1/06, CPC B64B1/08
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This wiki has 79 patents in category "Rigid". Other techtypes related to Rigid: Aluminum, CPC B64B1/16, Metal, Steel

Patents in category Rigid

Publications referring to Rigid


  1. Berget, 1909, Conquest of the Air, p. 29:

    The external form is invariable, thanks to the material of the envelope and the framework on which it is stretched.
    We see at a glance what colossal difficulties such an arrangement presents, the difficulty of constructing a trellised cylinder 120 metres long and 11 metres wide to say nothing of its expense; the difficulty of fixing the external envelope, and finally, the complication of inflating the elementary balloons contained in each of the compartments. Experience has shown the difficulty of managing such masses both at starting and landing: we shall return to this question later on. In any case it is difficult, and also very perlious, to give the body of an airship a rigid substructure.

  2. D'Orcy, 1917, p. 39