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Sweany-Davenport 1897 Airship
Non-rigid design with an external ballonet, from which was slung a car fitted with two sets of 6-bladed aluminium propellers that were to be driven by a 4 hp gasoline engine. However, the project at Green Island, California was never brought to its final construction. The designers had high hopes for their machine, and talked about making “a transcontinental journey to the national capital.” The envelope was described as circumscribed along its length with bicycle tubing to prevent it from collapsing. This tubing, a part of the suspension band, was probably inflated to pressure and thereby stiffened. This device was similar to an idea developed and demonstrated by the notable aeronaut Louis Capazza using a free balloon in the 1880s; that if the envelope were to suffer a catastrophic loss of lift gas during flight, the suspension band would keep the envelope from folding, or rather collapsing, and thus allow the gas bag to act as a parachute in slowing the descent of the airship.

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