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The Gadberry Aeronaut

Page history last edited by Michael 2 years, 7 months ago

back to the Castle Falkenstein index, or to John Gadberry


     The Aeronaut of Mr. John Gadberry is a hot-hydrogen semi-rigid dirigible.  A series of rubberized fabric bags are enclosed in cotton envelope, pointed at both ends; this in turn is covered by a web of ropes. A bone-and-wood frame hangs from the rope web, with steering vanes mounted at each end.

     Hanging in turn from the frame is the boiler, the fuel supply, and a wicker-and-canvas gondola for the crew. A set of pipes and valves emit gouts and blasts of steam to propel the aeronaut. The controls are several sets of levers, each connected to one or more metal cables.

     The aeronaut is not armed.

     It can operate for six hours without needing water for the boiler, and a day before needing more coal. Top speed is 50 miles per hour.

     A crew of 4, and up to 6 passengers, can be carried. The crew are a sailor (to climb onto the envelope for repairs and adjustments), a stoker/oiler (to tend to the boiler), an artificer (to tend to the other machinery), and a pilot.

     As a possible consideration:  just as hot air is more bouyant than cool air, Mr. Gadberry's invention embodies the concept that hot hydrogen gas is more bouyant than cold hydrogen gas ... one function of the boiler is to keep the hydrogen in the lift bags hot.


     The vessel takes 50 weeks to build, and costs £2500.

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