Uncolored etching of "The Flying Ship" proposed by the Jesuit Bartolomeu de Gusmão (1685-1724). On August 8, 1709, Gusmão is said to have flown a small balloon before the court in the Casa da Índia in Lisbon. The image in question may be a representation of a heavier-than-air machine proposed by Gusmão, or more likely, a representation of a proposed large balloon drawn by someone unfamiliar with the actual appearance of Gusmão's design. The craft is shown aloft with clouds and sun in the background. It features a bird-like shape and decorations. The operator sits in the open body of the bird with a telescope and globes. Oars are provided for propulsion. Parts are marked with letters A-I, but no key is present.
Gift of the Norfolk Charitable Trust
Print, Etching on Paper, Uncolored
2-D - Unframed (H x W): 10.8 × 12.7cm (4 1/4 in. × 5 in.)
2-D - In Frame (H x W x D): 25.4cm × 31.7cm × 3.8cm (10 × 12 1/2 × 1 1/2 in.)
National Air and Space Museum
Restrictions & Rights
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum