Italian Dirigible ‘Italia’ – Wills’s Aviation #16

16History Behind The Card: Italian Dirigible ‘Italia’
Card #16 of 50, W.D. & H.O. Wills, Aviation series 1910

Name: Count Almerico da Schio 1836 – 1930, Longare, Italy

The first Italian airship to be known as ‘Italia I’, was a 1,208-cubic metre non-rigid type built in 1905 by the firm Dal Fabbro and designed by Count Almerico da Schio.

Count Almerico da Schio

Count Almerico da Schio

Considered to be the most advanced airship built at that time, ‘Italia’ flew for the first time on June 17, 1905.

Powered by a 12-horsepower Bouchut motor and able to reach 30 kph (18 mph), ‘Italia’ was constructed with an elastic keel, and featured an envelope 38-meters (124.67-feet) long with a maximum diameter of 7.64-meters (25-feet).

The ‘Italia’ had a shell with no internal structure of struts and contained 1,208-cubic meters (42,660.12-cubic feet) of hydrogen. ‘Italia’ has many technological innovations, such as an elastic band to allow the rubber to increase the volume of the envelope and make it deformable to vary the proportion of flight and the temperature. Or the aeropiani (also called helms deep), that were located in the bow and stern of the ship and consisted of curved surfaces from the profile variable slope to the line of flight that allowed greater stability and governability of the airship.

Da Schio "Italia" (19O5)

Da Schio “Italia” (19O5)

Eventually fitted with an Antoinette motor of 40-horsepower and capable of 60-kilometers per hour (37.28-miles per hour), ‘Italia’ crashed after being blown around by high winds, and was badly damaged on April 7, 1909.


Let’s give Italy some credit, Alitalia’s head office is located in Piazza Almerico da Schio in Rome, named after the Italia designer and builder.

About mreman47

Andrew was born in London, UK, raised in Toronto, Canada, and cavorted in Ohtawara, Japan for three years. He is married, has a son and a cat. He has over 35,000 comic books and a plethora of pioneer aviation-related tobacco and sports cards and likes to build LEGO dioramas. He has written and been an editor for various industrial magazines, has scripted comic books, ghost-written blogs for business sectors galore, and hates writing in the 3rd person. He also hates having to write this crap that no one will ever read. He works on his Pioneers Of Aviation - a cool blog on early fliers - even though it takes him so much time to do. He also wants to do more writing - for money, though. Help him out so he can stop talking in the 3rd person.
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4 Responses to Italian Dirigible ‘Italia’ – Wills’s Aviation #16

  1. Pingback: Checklist For Wills’s Cigarettes Aviation 1910 – 50 Cards | Pioneers Of Aviation

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