The Lebaudy Airship, 1904.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Model (scale 1:5). The Lebaudy Brothers' construction was meant as a serviceable and practical vehicle and as an attempt by French designers to counter the rivalry of Germany, where Count Zeppelin had made tentative flights with his first dirigible in 1900. It was 183 feet long, holding 80,000 cubic feet of gas, and powered by a 40hp Daimler engine. On 12th November 1904 the Lebaudy airship succeeded in covering some 38 miles in one hour and 41 minutes from Moison to the Champ de Mars in Paris.