Certainly Lana's project is impracticable: the learned Jesuit did not foresee that his empty copper balloons would be crushed by the external atmospheric pressure; but he nevertheless had a very clear idea and very remarkable for his time of the principle of aerial navigation by balloons lighter than the volume of air which they move. He ends his long chapter with some very curious considerations:
I do not see any other difficulties that can be opposed to this idea, except one which seems to me more important than all the others, and that God will not allow this invention to be ever successfully applied in practice, in order to prevent the consequences which would result from it for the civil and political government of men. Indeed, who does not see that there is no State which would be insured against a stroke of surprise, because this ship would be heading in a straight line on one of its strongholds, and, landing there, could descend there soldiers.
- La Navigation Aérienne L'aviation Et La Direction Des Aérostats Dans Les Temps Anciens Et Modernes (Air Navigation Aviation And The Direction Of Aerostats In Ancient And Modern Time)
by Gaston Tissandier
Published in 1886
Available from gutenb
- Posted on
- Wednesday 5 August 2020