Charles Renard, French engineer

Charles Renard, French engineer

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Caption: Charles Renard (1847-1905), French military engineer and aviation pioneer. Renard is considered to have designed the first true dirigible (airship), 'La France', which first flew on 9 August 1884. It was the first airship that could be fully controlled and steered in any direction, regardless of the prevailing winds. It was thus able to return to its point of departure under its own power. The airship was powered by electricity, and it flew eight kilometres in 23 minutes. 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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