It was a first powered and steerable airship in history. The name is from French word “dirigeable” ("directable"). Main body of the airship was forty-five meter long, spindle-shaped, semi-rigid balloon. It was powered by a small steam engine of Gifford’s own design. Giffard flew the airship from the hippodrome at Place de l'Etoile to Élancourt, covering the 27 kilometers in three hours.
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