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Vert Poisson Volante / Flying Fish
The “Flying Fish” of 1858, designed by Camille Vert shown here during the presentation of the machine in 1859 at the Palais de l’Industrie in Paris.
A description of the airship was “Two propellers are placed under the balloon, at the extremity of a horizontal axis and the vertical plane passing through the length of the device, that is to say one at the front, the other at the back, and united by a steam engine at the center of the nacelle, are used to direct the Flying Fish. Tractive effort is directed onto the frame solidly fixed around the aerostat.”
Demonstrated in the presence of the French emperor Napoleon III, the airship, which had an ingenious parachute system for the safety of its passengers, functioned satisfactory as it turned at will in all directions when in the air. The inventor, after being praised by His Majesty, was authorized to make a public exhibition in the Palace of Industry.

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