Systême Petin: La navire aérien de Mr. Petin présente un assemblage de charpente solide et leger, suspendu à 3 ballons.


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Gift of the Norfolk Charitable Trust


Print, Aquatint on Paper, Colored


  • Mat: 25.4 × 30.5cm (10 × 12 in.)
  • Unmatted: 8.4 × 16.2cm (3 5/16 × 6 3/8 in.)

Physical Description

  • Colored aquatint of the aircraft designed by Mr. Petin. It has a strong but lightweight structure suspended from three balloons. Text in French within and below the image describe the aircraft.
  • Ernest Petin (1812-1878), a hatter and aeronaut active in Europe and America suggested a navigable airship with four spherical balloons and a wooden platform in 1850. The craft would have measured 200 feet long and thirty feet wide. Petin toured France exhibiting models of his craft and attempting to fund its construction. His work was described in, Nouveau System de Direction Aerienne (1850). "Aerial Navigation," Scientific American (April 17, 1852) describes a lecture on his plan of aerial navigation that Petin presented at the Broadway Tabernacle. He illustrated his talk with a large painting of his multi-balloon craft.


ART-Prints, Original

Inventory Number


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