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Meusnier, Jean-Baptiste
 
Jean Baptiste Marie Charles Meusnier de la Place (1754 — 1793) was a French mathematician and engineer. In 1784, less than a year after the first balloon flights, he presented a plan for a military dirigible, driven by men turning a hand crank to operate a propeller. It would have been the world’s first airship, but it was never built.
 
In 2002 the BBC series “Building the Impossible” set out to recreate Meusnier’s design to find out whether it would have worked.
 
 
 
 


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