La France (airship)

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The 1884 La France, the first fully controllable airship.

The La France was a French Army non-rigid airship launched by Charles Renard and Arthur Constantin Krebs on August 9, 1884. Collaborating with Charles Renard, Arthur Constantin Krebs piloted the first fully controlled free-flight with the La France. The 170-foot (52 m) long, 66,000 cubic feet (1,900 m3) airship, electric-powered with a 435 kg zinc-chlorine flow battery[1] completed a flight that covered 8 km (5.0 mi) in 23 minutes. It was the first full round trip flight[2] with a landing on the starting point. On its seven flights in 1884 and 1885[3] the La France dirigible returned five times to its starting point.


Hangar Y, Chalais Meudon near Paris, France 2002

The airship hangar was built as Hangar “Y” at Chalais Meudon near Paris in 1879 where the La France” was constructed. Hangar “Y” is one of the few remaining airship hangars in Europe.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Winter, Lumen & Degner, Glenn, Minute Epics of Flight, New York, Grosset & Dunlap, 1933, pgs. 49–50
  2. ^ "Le Ballon dirigeable LA FRANCE de Renard et Krebs – 1884". Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  3. ^ "Ballon dirigeable LA FRANCE : Plans, croquis et photos". Retrieved 7 October 2014.

External links[edit]