inventions inventions inventions inventions inventions

Henri Giffard - Famous Inventor

: Henri Giffard
: 8-February-1825
: 14-April-1882
: France
: Self Educated
: Inventor

About Inventor

Henri Giffard (8 February 1825 – 14 April 1882) was a French engineer. In 1852, he invented the steam injector and the powered airship.

Jules Henri Giffard took note of Jullien's design. He built the first full-size airship — a cigar-shaped, non-rigid bag that was 143 feet (44 meters) long and had a capacity of 113,000 cubic feet (3,200 cubic meters). He also built a small 3-horsepower (2.2-kilowatt) steam engine to power a three-bladed propeller. The engine weighed 250 pounds (113 kilograms) and needed a 100-pound (45.4 kilograms) boiler to fire it.

The first flight of Giffard's steam-powered airship took place Sept. 24, 1852 — 51 years before the Wright Brothers’ first flight. Traveling at about 6 miles per hour (10 kilometers/hour), Giffard traveled almost 17 miles (27 kilometers) from the Paris racecourse to Elancourt, near Trappes. The small engine could not overcome the prevailing winds, and Giffard could only manage to turn the airship in slow circles. He did, however, prove that in calm conditions controlled flight was possible.

Thus the airship (also called a dirigible), a lighter-than-air craft with propulsion and steering systems was born. Credit for the construction of the first navigable full-sized airship goes to French engineer, Henri Giffard, who, in 1852, attached a small, steam-powered engine to a huge propeller and chugged through the air for seventeen miles at a top speed of five miles per hour.


Henri Giffard's Other Images

Henri Giffard-Henri Giffard


View Photos
Henri Giffard-Henri Giffard


View Photos