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First air ship. Engraving of the airship 'La France' designed by the French aviation pioneer Charles Renard (1847-1906). This is considered to be the first true dirigible (air ship) as it was the first air ship 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, which was powered by electricity, first flew on the 9th August 1884. It flew eight kilometres in 23 minutes.
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