Appareille de Deghen pour la direction des Aerostats

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Article ID DSL0394


Appareille de Deghen pour la direction des Aerostats


Representation of an aircraft. In 1807, the watchmaker Jakob Degen constructed a flying machine with movable wings that was driven by muscle power. Degen realized that the lift that could be achieved in this way was not sufficient and made do with an auxiliary balloon filled with hydrogen, which generated about half the lift needed for flight. On November 13, 1808, he achieved the first controlled free flight over the Prater.


ca. 1850



Historical Description

The stations pointing the way for aviation history go back several thousand years to the kite, the first flying machine created by man, and to the mythologies of the Sumerians and Greeks, who gave expression to man's dream of flight with figures such as the shepherd Etana as well as Daidalos and Icarus. During the Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) designed various aircraft, including the first "helicopter". None of the models would have been suitable for flight, but the creative approaches and especially the engineering methodology had pioneering value, with da Vinci being "way ahead of the times" with his thoughts on aviation. It was not until the late 19th century that da Vinci's designs were rediscovered, but did not have a seminal influence on the development of the first aircraft. It is believed, however, that the Augsburg shoemaker Salomon Idler had Leonardo's plans at his disposal when he built his flying machine. In 1784, the Frenchmen Launoa and Bienvenue built an early flying model helicopter with a double rotor. In 1807, the clockmaker Jakob Degen constructed a flying machine with movable wings that was powered by muscle power. From 1810 to 1811, Albrecht Ludwig Berblinger, the tailor of Ulm, constructed a glider that carried himself. In 1842, the English engineer William Samuel Henson (1805-1885) applied for a patent for a powered aircraft project (kite principle), but it was unable to fly. The English scholar Sir George Cayley (1773 to 1857) was the first to investigate and describe in a fundamental way the problems of aerodynamic flight and is therefore also known as the "father of aeronautics". The French sea captain Jean Marie Le Bris (1817 to 1872) built gliders derived from the shape of albatrosses in 1857 and 1868. Russian naval officer Alexander Moschaiski (1825 to 1890) was granted an aircraft patent in 1881. He made several flight tests with his steam engine aircraft between 1882 and 1886. The aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896) carried out successful gliding flights based on the "heavier than air" principle from 1891. The German-American aviation pioneer Gustav Weißkopf is said to have made the first controlled powered flights over a distance of half a mile on August 14, 1901. The great importance of the Wright brothers' flights in aeronautical development is undisputed and universally recognized. Their outstanding achievement was the development of the first complete aerodynamic flight control of the airplane around all three spatial axes, which they themselves considered a necessary prerequisite for controlled powered flight and already achieved with their 1902 Wright Glider.

Place of Publication Paris
Dimensions (cm)14,5 x 10
ConditionVery good
TechniqueWood engraving


14.25 €

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