Machine Design

Backtalk 9/10/2009

A special exhibition is being held at the Musée des Arts & Métiers in Paris to commemorate Louis Blériot’s daring flight across the English Channel 100 years ago. The plane used a coated fabric and float from Continental AG, in Hannover, Germany.

The coated fabric covered the wings and fuselage of the plane. It can still be seen on the historic original machine, Blériot XI, which has survived for more than a century. Also on display are personal effects and objects connected with the July 25, 1909 flight.

The approximately 2-m-long cylindrical float, produced at Continental’s plant in Clichy in 1909, was designed to prevent the airplane from sinking, since Blériot wasn’t a swimmer.

Conservator David Aguilella Cueco restored the float. ContiTech France and ContiTech Elastomer Coatings in Northeim collaborated closely in the restoration work. Two collapsible cylinders made of coated fabric were inserted into the float, which was not leakproof, and then inflated. The cylinders stabilized the float.

80 years ago today . . .
Coca-Cola became a sponsor of the IXth Olympics 80 years ago and the relationship is still going strong.

The freighter that carried the U.S. Olympic Team to Amsterdam also contained 1,000 cases of Coca- Cola. Vendors sold bottles of Coke at the Games from kiosks located around the Olympic Stadium and the Rowing Course. The only promotion Coca- Cola received came from signs created by an American art student and hung over entrances to the stadium.

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