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Car of Nadar’s balloon

Car of Nadar’s balloon.jpg Montgolfier’s passenger balloonThumbnailsBlanchard’s dirigible balloon, 1784Montgolfier’s passenger balloonThumbnailsBlanchard’s dirigible balloon, 1784

A still more elaborate and colossal air ship was the Geant, constructed in 1863, for A. Nadar of Paris. It was made of a double layer of white silk, had a volume of 215,000 cubic feet and a buoyancy of 4½ tons. The car was a wicker cabin 13 feet wide by 7 feet high, with a wicker balcony round the top so that the roof could be used as an observation deck—a delightful place to loll in the starlight, or watch the morning sun “flatter the mountain tops with sovereign eye.” The closed car comprised two main rooms with a hallway between them, one containing the captain’s bed and baggage, the other having three superposed berths for passengers. Minor divisions of the car were reserved for provisions, a lavatory, photography and a printing press, the latter to be used for the dissemination of news from the sky, as the navigators floated from state to state. A compensator balloon of 3,500 cubic feet, just below the main bag and connected with it, received the escaping gas during expansion with increase of tempera61ture or altitude, and gave it back on contraction.

Aërial Navigation
A Popular Treatise on the Growth of Air Craft and on Aëronautical Meteorology
By Albert Francis Zahm
Published in 1911
Available from gutenberg.org