Henri Giffard and His Contribution to the Aviation Industry

Henri Giffard and His Contribution to the Aviation Industry


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Henri Giffard and His Contribution to the Aviation Industry

Baptiste Jules Henri Jacques Giffard, well-known as Henri Giffard, had a great contribution in the field of aviation specifically in the modern day’s chartered flights.  He was a French Engineer, born on February 8, 1825 in Paris. Since the age of 18, he had been influenced by a strong belief that success was possible.  Thus, he initiated the study of flight on lighter-than-air balloons.

Henri Giffard invented Giffard dirigible or Giffard airship, a balloon powered with a steam engine weighing over 180 kg.  It was the world’s first passenger-carrying airship. The hydrogen-filled airship was equipped with a 3hp steam engine that drove a propeller.  The engine was fitted with a downward-pointing funnel.  The exhaust steam was mixed in with the combustion gases, and it was hoped by these means that sparks rising to the gas bag are stopped.

Because of his limited means, he encountered many discouraging difficulties, yet he did not lose enthusiasm to build and equip this first navigable balloon, which is the origin of the aircraft used in chartered flights today.

On September 24, 1852, Giffard then at the age of 27 years, piloted the first powered flight going 27 km from Paris to Elancourt in an elongated balloon filled with ordinary coal gas, driven by an aerial screw propeller activated by a steam-engine designed by Giffard himself. Due to the very strong wind that made his flying so difficult, he discovered procedures which proved then that a powered airship could be steered and controlled. He then concluded that ultimate success was certain with a larger and a more energetic motor.

He resumed his studies and designs for further experiments with unaffected enthusiasm but due to exhausted means, it was only in 1855 that he made his second trial with what he considered an improved apparatus.  This change reduced the resistance and longitudinal instability and resulted in an accident which almost cost Giffard’s life. However, it did not change his conviction of ultimate success.

Shortly thereafter, he invented the injector on May 8, 1858.  An injector is a device to feed water into steam boilers to prevent it from running out of the water.  This is used by some aircraft mostly of earlier designs by having this attached to the fuselage to provide vacuum for gyroscopic instruments such as an attitude indicator or also known as an artificial horizon.  The attitude indicator or the artificial horizon is an instrument used in an aircraft to inform the pilot of the position of the aircraft relative to the Earth’s horizon.

Henri Giffard died by inhaling chloroform in April 1882.  But he made history because of his inventions and as he was the first to drive a balloon with a motor.

With that, see how we have benefitted from his hard work as chartered flights  have become one of the main means and the most convenient form of transportation nowadays.  For the huge majority of trips for tourism or business purposes, there would be many advantages to booking chartered flights. Passengers can usually book chartered flights economically especially if booking near departure because the third party provider has already paid for the seat on the aircraft.