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Tissander Airship
The contemporary engraving shows the Tissandier electric dirigible scale model – similar in appearance to the Giffard airship of 1852 – at the Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers in Paris. Seen at the Exposition d'électricité in 1881, the aérostat électrique was a demonstrative model of the later constructed full-scale Siemens electromotor-driven Tissandier airship. The model’s all important electromotor was designed and built by French inventor Gustave Trouvé.


In 1882 the Tissander brothers built a 92 ft long airship. At 37,000 cu.ft capacity, it was powered by a Siemens electric motor of 1.5 hp driving a primitive two-bladed airscrew, which drew its power from twenty-four bichromate of potash cells weighing 500 lb, contained in the car suspended by netting below the fuselage.
The first trial took place on 8 October 1883 when, despite a fair breeze, a measure of control was achieved with the aid of the sail rudder. A second trial on 26 September produced better results although due to the low power of the engine the craft was unable to make any headway in a wind of any magnitude and the brothers ended their works.

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