Gusmao's Passarola airship, 1709

Gusmao's Passarola airship, 1709

V320/0183

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Caption

Gusmao's Passarola airship. Historical artwork of the Passarola airship design that was proposed in 1709 by the Portuguese priest and naturalist Bartolomeu de Gusmao (1685-1724). Gusmao presented this design to King John V of Portugal, and was awarded a professorship of mathematics at the University of Coimbra, and a lifetime's pension to support his work on the design. The design was similar to that of a kite, with the upper canopy intended to provide lift from either the wind, or a set of bellows. A scheduled public test never took place, but Gusmao is reported to have tried descending from hilltops with similar designs. Artwork from Astra Castra (Hatton Turner, London, 1865).

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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