Degen aerostat flight, 1812

Degen aerostat flight, 1812

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Degen aerostat flight. 19th-century illustration of the human-powered flying machine (ornithopter) and balloon device (aerostat) designed by Austrian showman Jakob Degen (c.1760-1848) and first used in around 1809. It was not capable of independent flight and was used in conjunction with a balloon to provide lift. This artwork depicts an 1812 flight in Paris, France. Some accounts say he was successful. Others say he failed and was beaten by a mob that dismantled his machine. Artwork from 'Aerostation - Aviation' (1911) by French civil engineer Max de Nansouty (1854-1913), part of the 'Les merveilles de la science' series of 1867-1891 by Louis Figuier.

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