9
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International Airship Convention, Ashford, 2012 1
9th International Airship Conference, Ashford, 2012
History Paper 2...
Paper 29 Peña and Nava
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Figure 1. Cigar-shape airship for advertising...
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enough to start recovering and build a
sound ...
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flights of the Brazilian Santos Du Mont
with ...
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gas balloons and gliders. They closely
follow...
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International Airship Convention, Ashford, 2012 6
merchant maritime port of Veracruz or
from th...
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4.2 Operation details
On January 7, 1907, nea...
Paper 29 Peña and Nava
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International Airship Convention, Ashford, 2012 8
the propeller during a sunny Sunday´s
morning...
Paper 29 Peña and Nava
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International Airship Convention, Ashford, 2012 9
Figure 6. Tobacco packs with airship
advertis...
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Figure 8. Goodyear’s aerial advertising
camp...
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7. CONCLUSIONS
Airship operation represents ...
Paper 29 Peña and Nava
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International Airship Convention, Ashford, 2012 12
and notes from Spanish fellow
Mr. Francisco ...
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1st aerial advertising airship flight in Latin America

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During the first decade of the XX century, México was probably the best economy of all Center and South America and it reflected in the social ambience of the time. The rich
and powerful were enjoying themselves on par with those of other European cities. The amenities included technical advancements, such as electricity, motor vehicles,
railroads, telephone and aviation. Mexico was no absent from the aviation world. Although in small scale, there were some aviation enthusiasts that were following the
advancements in that field. During the XIX century there was some interest in the lighter
than air ships and some exploits became notorious, particularly that related to Mr. Ernesto Pugibet, owner of a tobacco industrial empire at that time, who involved in the
promotion of his products, hit upon the idea of using airships as an advertisement and promotional means. By the time, aviators like Mr. Alberto Santos Dumont and other enthusiasts demonstrated that airships and dirigibles were a proven and safe technology which, of course, encouraged Mr. Pugibet to employ them in Mexico City for advertising
purposes; even he faced diverse technological and logistics problems to take his airship to a successful first flight. This paper describes in detail the technology, the key people and professionals involved in the first aerial advertising airship flight in Latin America.

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1st aerial advertising airship flight in Latin America

  1. 1. 9 th International Airship Convention, Ashford, 2012 1 9th International Airship Conference, Ashford, 2012 History Paper 29 First aerial advertising airship flight in Latin America: Mexico City 1907 Adrian Peña Cervantes1 , Jaime Navarro2 and Javier Merino Escamilla1 1 Impacto Aéreo, Mexico City, Mexico. 2 Mexican aviation historian, Mexico City, Mexico Abstract During the first decade of the XX century, México was probably the best economy of all Center and South America and it reflected in the social ambience of the time. The rich and powerful were enjoying themselves on par with those of other European cities. The amenities included technical advancements, such as electricity, motor vehicles, railroads, telephone and aviation. Mexico was no absent from the aviation world. Although in small scale, there were some aviation enthusiasts that were following the advancements in that field. During the XIX century there was some interest in the lighter than air ships and some exploits became notorious, particularly that related to Mr. Ernesto Pugibet, owner of a tobacco industrial empire at that time, who involved in the promotion of his products, hit upon the idea of using airships as an advertisement and promotional means. By the time, aviators like Mr. Alberto Santos Dumont and other enthusiasts demonstrated that airships and dirigibles were a proven and safe technology which, of course, encouraged Mr. Pugibet to employ them in Mexico City for advertising purposes; even he faced diverse technological and logistics problems to take his airship to a successful first flight. This paper describes in detail the technology, the key people and professionals involved in the first aerial advertising airship flight in Latin America.
  2. 2. Paper 29 Peña and Nava 9th International Airship Convention, Ashford, 2012 2 Figure 1. Cigar-shape airship for advertising campaign of Tobacco company “El buen Tono” 1. INTRODUCTION During the XIX century there was some interest in the lighter than air vehicles in Mexico and some exploits became notorious, particularly those of the noted balloonist Don Joaquín de la Cantolla Y Rico, whose ascensions in hot air free balloons were highly publicized and attended. He became a legendary yet, quixotesque figure being the scorn of the populace, but to the air minded community those were advancements towards the flight of men in machines. However the first aeronautical achievements were not the result of a scientific, dedicated effort toward mechanical flight. The operation of gas ballooning in the form of airships took place for first time in Mexico City for aerial advertising purposes Fig. 1. These activities were conducted by Don Ernesto Pugibet (“Don” is not a name but a common Spanish language of formal addressing towards notable persons. The female form being: “Doña”) who has been largely forgotten in Mexican aviation as well his cigarettes factory: “El Buen Tono” (The Good Tone, probably a reference to musical qualities). Pugibet is only a passing figure in the History of Mexican Aviation, as he was probably seen as rich industrialist part of an oppressive economic and political regime got rid of by the Revolution. But time is come to give him his due credit in the annals of History. Ernesto Pugibet was a French citizen who came to do business in Mexico during the President Porfirio Díaz regime. The Pax Porfiriana brought about an intense effort of industrialization and –in order to make up for the lacking of industrial know-how- the Mexican government invited all sorts of industries to establish themselves in Mexican territory. They mainly came from Great Britain, Germany and France as Mexico had already close diplomatic relations with these countries. However some technical expertise also came from the United States. By the early XX century Mexico was enjoying what was probably the best of times. After almost 70 years of independence plagued with civil war, economic and political crisis, foreign invasions and civil turmoil, the Díaz presidency had managed to stabilize the country long
  3. 3. Paper 29 Peña and Nava 9th International Airship Convention, Ashford, 2012 3 enough to start recovering and build a sound economic basis. Industrialization was part of the recovery plan, and many industries opened plants and factories. One of the business people lured by the Mexican boom was Ernesto Pugibet, who at the end of the XIX century, emigrated to Mexico and got involved in the tobacco industry establishing several plantations and factories, all dedicated to the manufacture of both cigars and cigarettes. Soon enough and with the support of the Díaz regime he became one of the wealthiest men in Mexico, diversifying his operations to a wide range of activities. By the early XIX century Don Ernesto Pugibet was a distinguishing feature in Mexico´s social, economic and even political life, but above all he was an entrepreneur. 2. MEXICO CITY in 1907 Mexico City was booming and was perhaps the most important city in Central and South America. It was called the “City of palaces” mainly because many new buildings in the French style were being built next the Old Colonial buildings. New Burroughs for the new burgoise class –most of them foreigners- were reshaping the urban landscape that until now have had a decidedly rural quality to it. Modernity was being introduced in the form of electricity, telephone and the ubiquitous railway with locomotives of American manufacture running the services to and from the city and the major ports and north to the mining areas and to the USA. Automobiles were zooming along newly paved streets along with horse drawn trams and carriages. Industrialization was being enforced by the President Díaz regime, mainly by the opening of the Mexican territory to foreigner industries which established themselves in the richest and more profitable parts of the country. The social scene was a mixture of the most extravagant French influenced fashionistas to the most humble street vendor women, and it was being stirred by the incoming centennial celebrations of the Mexican war of Independence with an expected score of events including grand openings and dedications of monuments and new buildings such as the still standing Independence Victory (Often mistaken for an “Angel”) that nowadays adorn the most scenic avenue in downtown Mexico. The political scene was approaching boiling point. The almost 30 years of virtual dictatorship headed by President Díaz was coming to and as he was becoming old and his hold of power weakening. A new emerging middle class was desperate for his own time and everywhere around the country popular discontent against the regime was rising. To top this all, Halley´s comet was expected in 1910. Mexico City surely was the city to be in those years. Amidst all of this, enter the apparition of Ernesto Pugibet´s dirigible, sporting huge banners advertising his cigarette brands floating around the Mexico City sky. It must have been an awesome sight for the locals. 3. THE TEAM By the early XX century Mr. Ernesto Pugibet was heading a veritable economic empire but still was involved in the promotion of his products and he hit upon the idea of using airships as an advertisement and promotional means. It isn´t clear whether -if he became at all- he became a Mexican citizen, but we might assume he had close ties and relations whit his old Country and no doubt his business kept him traveling to and from France where He, surely was a witness of the aerial activities taking place in Europe but above all in France, including the very highly publicized
  4. 4. Paper 29 Peña and Nava 9th International Airship Convention, Ashford, 2012 4 flights of the Brazilian Santos Du Mont with airships of his own design [1]. The exploits of Mr. Santos du Mont using dirigibles were well known around the world. He build a series of motorized dirigibles which he used for some record braking flights in France, including his 1901 winning of the Deutsch de la Meurthe Grand Prix by circling the Eiffel tower in one of his dirigibles, demonstrating that airships and dirigibles were a proven and safe technology. Sometime during 1907 (Other sources give 1908 as the year) Don Ernesto Pugibet bought and imported at least one dirigible complete with the services of pilot and mechanic. It is not clear if he bought only one (there are reports of two and even three) and if he imported it directly from France 3.1 THE SPONSOR As previously noted Don Ernesto Pugibet, (Figure 2) was an entrepreneur and as such hit upon the idea of using dirigibles and airplanes to promote his product. He was in the tobacco business and made several popular, well known cigarettes and cigars brands. It seems that he first introduced the dirigible as and promotional and advertising tool sometime before 1909, probably 1908 or even 1907. Being a French citizen with many commercial ties with his country of origin, he must have first taken contact with aviation in France and no doubt was well aware or even was a witness of the progress made there by aviators such as the Brazilian Alberto Santos Du Mont, whose exploits with dirigibles made him a notable aviation pioneer, one of whose most memorable prize winning flights was the circling of the Eiffel Tower in 1901. Figure 2. Don Ernesto Pugibet, at the magazine “El mundo ilustrado” (The enlightened world magazine) in 1907. Photo taken from “Gaceta Racines Françaises au Mexique, No. 5 año 2008” [2]. There is no reliable record of how and when Ernesto Pugibet acquired his flying equipment. It can easily be assumed that given his business contacts and means he could have imported them from France. However it seems that he could also bought material from the United States. Being the owner of several factories and involved in a variety of enterprises it seems that he had no problem with the supporting means to importing, operating and flying his machines. Aside of being able to buy a flying apparatus it must be understood that there must be a technology to be dealt with. And this led us to the first problem on Mexico´s first dirigible. Although by the first decade of the XX century there were a small cadre of aviation enthusiasts –manly economically affluent young middle and upper class men- interested in all things mechanical and technical such as automobiles, motorcycles and flying machines. There were even an Aeronautical Club intended to promote aviation and whose members were involved in the construction and operation of hot air and
  5. 5. Paper 29 Peña and Nava 9th International Airship Convention, Ashford, 2012 5 gas balloons and gliders. They closely followed –as many other aviation enthusiasts around the world- the latest advancements in the aeronautical field, from Otto Lillienthal to Octave Chanute, to Alberto Santos Dumont. At that time Mexico had strong ties with Europe particularly with France and President Porfirio Díaz regime had a strong inclination towards French culture. So it must be assumed that many Mexican citizens visited France and therefore and naturally brought back the latest news on Europe´s aeronautical advancements. Although Ernesto Pugibet is not known to have been involved in the aeronautical science or interested in flying machines per se, it is evident that he saw an opportunity. 3.2 THE PILOT The existing pictures show that the airship had some resemblance to dirigibles built in the United States. One source reports the pilot during the first flights was the American adventurer Lincoln Beachey (Figure 3) who became later a pilot of some note. There is in fact a newspaper article published in March 7th 1909 in the New York Times where Beachey reports activities taken in Mexico city during an aerial show over a bull fighting arena in Mexico city. This provides some certainty on the fact that Beachey was the El Buen Tono’s airship pilot. Another more recent source states that the pilot was Charles Keeny Hamilton or the Captain Jack Dallas, who by the time took several airship flights across USA [3], but no record confirms the veracity of these assumptions. Figure 3. Mr. Lincoln Beachey in 1909. Photo taken from THE EARLY BIRDS OF AVIATION, Inc 4. THE FLYING MACHINE Few data is available of the particulars of the machine (or machines) that Ernesto Pugibet imported to México. However, from the few available photographs it seems that contrary to what it could be believed, the origin of those machines was probably not European. The pictures show a machine with more rounded appearance than those being flown in France and Europe that had more pointed or fishlike appearance. There is however, a picture of a dirigible being flown in the USA that is more closely in appearance to the Mexican machine. So it is possible that Ernesto Pugibet imported his machine from the USA. This is supported by the fact that by the first decade of the XX century, the nationalized Mexican railway (1908) operated by then an important network of transport and communication reaching all the way to New York City, and it seem easier to have been able to import technology from the USA, than from Europe. It is well known that from 1910 on, most of the flying equipment used by the aviation pioneers in México were buying from American shops and factories as most of the European manufacturers had licensed their designs to American enterprises. The equipment -however the source- could reach México City and valley via railroad either from the
  6. 6. Paper 29 Peña and Nava 9th International Airship Convention, Ashford, 2012 6 merchant maritime port of Veracruz or from the North. Another historical problem whose details we are not aware of at the present is the source and manufacturing equipment or apparatus of lifting gas. Then, again no data is available of how the lifting gas was procured or made available for the dirigible operations during those years. Once again we could only speculate and guess that Ernesto Pugibet purchased some form of gas producing apparatus from a most likely American source. One fact is known and accounted for in Ernest Pugibet´s case: Money was no problem. And he enjoyed the official support and resources from the regime as Ernesto Pugibet was close to President Porfirio Díaz. México was no strange to ballooning and other aerial activities, but as stated elsewhere, the aerial activities of most aerial novelties were entrepreneurial rather than scientific and carried on by rich people intent on emulate the exploits of the European sportsmen. 4.1 Technical details The most important data to date about the machine was taken from press releases on the most influent newspaper of that time named “El Imparcial” [4]. Not other data was indicated elsewhere that could provide more technical details. The airship was equipped with a suspended wooden made gondola or keel and a non-rigid cigar-shaped envelope body. The envelope was made of waterproof silk fabrics which dimensions were 20 meters long (65.16 ft) by 6 meters (19.68 ft) diameter. (Figure 4) Figure 4. Airship’s lateral view. Photo taken from the Mexican aviation history website [5] The airship obtained propulsion through an aft propeller manufactured in Zinc material that achieved a speed of 300 to 350 revolutions per minute and was driven by a 12 hp four-cylinder petrol engine. A wooden wheel provided manual control through a direct cable connection to the rudder (Figure 5). Figure 5. Airship’s front view showing the zinc propeller, image posted at the newspaper “El Imparcial” in 1907 Like most of the gas ballooning airships of that time, hydrogen was the lifting gas employed into the gas bag. Current investigations lead to the assumption that hydrogen was imported from a commercial hydrogen manufacturer in USA and transported by railway to Mexico City in steel cylinders for military use. At that time there was a strong gas industry in Mexico but USA could provide a specialized contract for supplying hydrogen gas cylinders in an effective and industrial way to the aerial airship advertising project.
  7. 7. Paper 29 Peña and Nava 9th International Airship Convention, Ashford, 2012 7 4.2 Operation details On January 7, 1907, nearly a year after numerous unsuccessful attempts due to atmospheric pressure and Mexico’s City geographical characteristics, located at an altitude of 2,240 meters (7,350 ft) above sea level, the advertising airship could lift off in the metropolitan area of San Cosme, a well-known neighborhood in the city at that time. Reports let us know that event organizers charged 5 cents to each one attendant to letting watch the airship’s takeoff. After getting elevation, the airship headed to main avenues of the capital, up to the Zocalo area and the Central Alameda. Its flight caused great anticipation and excitement among the locals and gave great impetus to the “El Buen Tono” products in all those days the airship conducted flights over the city. There were several flights some of them undocumented and unsuccessful than others but all of them caused the peoples recognition for the organizers. Additional to the aerial advertising campaign the airship was used for aerial photography, probably the first made in Mexico City, however photographic materials were lost in the time and there is no record to be reviewed. Records let us know the airship was also used for scientific purposes providing meteorological measurements like wind currents, temperature and atmospheric pressure ordered by the National observatory of Mexico located in Tacubaya an important suburb of the capital with military and government headquarters [6]. Nothing is known of what happened to Pugibet´s dirigible (Or dirigibles if there were more than one) They might have been put in storage for possible military use by the Army, but no known operations were carried with them or any other form of lighter than air aircrafts. However, no dirigibles were ever flown in Mexican airspace again after Pugibet´s for a very long time. It is a pity that there is no more research available at this time about Don Ernesto Pugibet and his dirigible(s), but we hope to put an end to this state of affairs. 5. THE AERIAL ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN Don Ernesto Pugibet used the dirigible as a promotional display during the grand opening of new facilities of his factory, named “EL BUEN TONO” in México City. And the dirigible made a number of flights with two large promotional banners hanging from each side, one bearing the legend “EL BUEN TONO S.A. LOS MEJORES CIGARROS. ALFONSO XIII. (“The Good tone S.A. The best cigarettes” Alfonso XIII being the king of Spain) and on the other side a similar banner except for the last line being substituted with the name: “REINA VICTORIA”. (“Queen Victoria” probably meaning: Queen Victoria of England) advertising both the factory and two of its brand name cigarettes. The few known pictures of the dirigible show this to advantage. There are no known records of how long or how many flights were made by this dirigible but it must have been an awesome sight to see this large dirigible slowly floating and circling above the grand old City of México, emerging from behind and above antique colonial Spanish buildings with the pilot waving to the crowds below and the engine noisily puttering and puffing while driven
  8. 8. Paper 29 Peña and Nava 9th International Airship Convention, Ashford, 2012 8 the propeller during a sunny Sunday´s morning. It also seems no major mishaps or accidents ever took place. Unlike other airship experiments and ventures in the Spanish speaking world (as in the case of those made by the Spanish scientist and inventor Leonardo Torres Quevedo who was building dirigibles for dedicated scientific purposes) [7] the dirigible in México was apparently used for pure entrepreneur and entertaining purposes with no pretense of science whatsoever. Whatever that case, Don Ernesto Pugibet´s dirigible operated for what seems only a short season (Most of the history of those events is yet to be properly researched by historians) and his next venture took place in 1909 when for the same advertising and promotional objectives, he imported the first ever airplane brought to México (and all of Latin America it seems) a Blériot XI of the same type used by Louis Blériot for his English channel crossing flight. However, the aircraft never got off the ground during the firsts trials (Which was not good publicity by the way) and the plane was set aside until some improvements were made by a Mexican aeronaut who by mid 1910 finally managed to fly it bearing the “BUEN TONO” legend across its wings, but by this time it was already beaten as the first airplane ever to fly in Mexico by the son of an Irish-American immigrant who made a fortune as a railroad engineer and with similar social standing as that of Don Ernesto Pugibet, Thomas Braniff, whose son Alberto, had visited France learnt to fly and brought back a Voisin biplane that made the first flight of a heavier than air machine in Mexico in early 1910 [8]. Shortly after this and with the political scene getting hotter by the day, Mexico was reaching a high point as the incoming elections for president were close and also, the Independence centennial was to be celebrated that year. To close the September celebrations, an air show featuring many aeronautical celebrities took place by the end of the month. Roland Garros and the American family of aviators of French origin, the Moissants as well as the Mexican aeronauts flew their aircraft during the aerial exhibitions. And Don Ernesto Pugibet was there too, no doubt with both of his machines. However, by November the same year President Díaz was overthrown in the election and soon the country was in the midst of a civil turmoil that led to the war of Revolution. All civil aeronautical activities were canceled, the flying equipment was requisitioned and the aeronauts recruited for service with the Federal Armed Forces. It seems that Don Ernesto Pugibet joined those foreigners fleeing the country during the Revolution and he died in France in 1915. His factory however remained in business and later it became the basis for the largest tobacco company of Mexico. The Church in the West side of the plaza Ernesto Pugibet was funded by the Buen Tono factory and it was built from the ground up –the old XVII century one being demolish- was finished about 1942 and dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe (Who else?) and affectionately called The Church of “El Buen Tono”. Years after the airship flights, the company used repeatedly the airship concept for the cigars packing artwork as you can review in Figure 6 where the Norge & Italian Polar flights in 1920’s are the strong advertising message to the consumers.
  9. 9. Paper 29 Peña and Nava 9th International Airship Convention, Ashford, 2012 9 Figure 6. Tobacco packs with airship advertising campaign art. 6. ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF LTA OPERATION IN MEXICO There is no evidence or records of airship flights in Mexico after 1907 at least until the Second World War when it is possible that North American made airships could have been used for patrolling the Mexican coastlines. And even after that nothing is known until the mid 70´s when hot air balloons were being introduced as sport crafts for pleasure and tourist attractions. It was not until by mid 1970s than something reassembling a dirigible was seen floating in the Mexican Airspace in the form of a promotional sausage tethered semi rigid balloon. And by all accounts it has been only until the late 2000 that serious thoughts were given to the use of dirigibles, if not in some form of transportation at least for use as observation, monitoring and advertising platforms. In Mexico, back in 1973 the company Sapacial of Mexico flew a man-carrying saucer airship, a lenticular airship 24mts in diameter with a gas volume of 2505m3 and matriculated MLA-24-A. Later, after years of experimentation and research in June 1989 there was a last version matriculated MLA-32-B with a lenticular configuration of LtA vehicle that was operated by its designer and moving spirit of the entire enterprise Mr. Mario Sanchez Roldan. Sadly, because of the tragic death of this Mexican LtA researcher, there were no more R&D projects in Mexico with LtA vehicles that could bring further knowledge until recent years [9] Figure 7. Figure 7. Sketch of lenticular airship manufactured in Mexico in 1989 by Manuel Sanchez Roldan. Another interesting entrepreneurial airship aerial campaign took place in the 90’s when Goodyear decided to promote a hot-air aerial advertising campaign tour through the principal cities along Mexico. The name of the campaign was “Good Year # 1 en LLANTAS” The airship was built by Lindstrand industries and christened “Eagle Aztec” (Figure 8). For reasons not well understood, the project lasted only few months. To date, Goodyear is evaluating the revival of the campaign through the assistance of the airship fleet of the company Impacto Aéreo.
  10. 10. Paper 29 Peña and Nava 9th International Airship Convention, Ashford, 2012 10 Figure 8. Goodyear’s aerial advertising campaign in the 90’s with the airship named “Eagle Aztec” One hundred years after Ernesto Pugibet’s advertising campaign, a young Mexican Company takes the challenge to put airship aerial advertising on Latin American skies. Impacto Aereo S.A. de C.V. is a Mexican company specialized in aerial advertising. The company owns the one and only certified manned hot- air airship in Mexico and Central America. Impacto Aereo operates three hot-air airships, model AS 105 GD manufactured by GEFA FLUG from Germany. The airships are certified with full compliance to the Air authority in Mexico represented by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation of Mexico - DGAC – (Dirección General de Aviación Civil in Spanish) The CEO and master pilot of the company, Javier Merino Escamilla has been approved and certified by the DGAC for day and night airship flight operation. As those pilots back in 1907, Javier Merino has experienced the challenging opportunity to fly in high altitude geographic conditions along Mexico obtaining a rewarding and strong piloting experience (Figure 9). Figure 9. Impacto Aereo’s hot-air airship during night operations. The plans for the company are to develop a business strategic approach to Mexican and Latin American market operating by now air-hot airships for advertising and tourism purposes but working and planning at the same time with financing entities and air authorities to bring in the near future helium airships to fly in Latin American skies. Many years have come along the Mexican aviation history in airship operation, but the same entrepreneurial and adventurous spirit give dynamic move to the Impacto Aereo’s projects [10]. Possibly, as Pugibet’s case, in the years for coming, airship technology in Mexico will be increased by this young company in order to write new historic events for the next Mexican and Latin American lighter than air aviators. Figure 10. Impacto Aereo’s hot-air airship for advertising campaigns in Mexico.
  11. 11. Paper 29 Peña and Nava 9th International Airship Convention, Ashford, 2012 11 7. CONCLUSIONS Airship operation represents one of the more puzzling questions of the early years of the Mexican Aviation History, and the most concerned with our subject matter. Why did the use of dirigibles come to a complete standstill in Mexico? It might seem that given the huge part played in the early history of aviation both in Europe and in The USA, the dirigible could have been developed as a serious form of transportation, but all facts point toward that Pugibet´s was the only one in operation during the so called pioneer years of Mexican Aviation. Even more puzzling is the fact that it seems that in spite of its proven use by the military for war operations, the Mexican armies engaged in the War of Revolutions that broke out in November 1910 did not use dirigibles or even balloons for military purposes. They were keener in the use of heavier- than-air -machines and now it is recognized by historians that the Mexican Revolution brought about some of the first military uses of airplanes. One possible answer to this enigma might lie in the fact that operating a lighter-than-air machine required far more logistics and manpower to operate than airplanes, and airplanes so it seems were more readily and easier to acquire and deploy for use as observation machines or artillery spotters. Airplanes were bought –often to ridiculous high prices- from dealers across the border, frequently complete with the services of mercenary pilots and teams of mechanics to maintain and repair them. They were smuggled across the border and quickly put to use by both, federal and rebel armies, including the celebrated Francisco Villa, AKA: “Pancho Villa” [11]. After 100 years of LTA airship operation in Mexico and Latin America, new and promising projects promote the use and operation of airships in this region. Many campaigns have passed away before with few results and public impact, but for the next decade the authors of this paper foresee a bright future for the promotion and operation of airships in aerial advertising, tourism and transportation. 8. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS • The authors express their deepest gratitude to the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) of Mexico [5] for its funding and technical support to airships programs in previous years. Without the government policies to support science, technology and innovation, this research project could not be possible. • We express sincere appreciation for the intense and dedicated work performed by funders, members and collaborators of the International Airship Association to promote the airship technology. Their advice and enthusiasm are invaluable for Latin American airship researchers. • We express sincere appreciation for the valuable engagement and technical advice of aviation colleagues and aviation historian enthusiast in Mexico, USA and UK that helped us to obtain valuable materials for our paper. Specially, we appreciate the valuable advice from Navy Airship Association members
  12. 12. Paper 29 Peña and Nava 9th International Airship Convention, Ashford, 2012 12 and notes from Spanish fellow Mr. Francisco Gonzáles de Posada. • We express our most profound appreciation to the advice provided by enthusiast members of the most influent Mexican aviation historic research groups in Mexico and the valuable engagement of friends from the French-Mexican community. 9. REFERENCES [1] Macworth-Praed, Ben. (Researcher and editor). Aviation, the Pioneer Years. Studio Editions. London.1990. [2] Gaceta - Racines Françaises au Mexique, No. 5 año 2008 http://www.rfm.org.mx/publicacion es/gacetas/boletin5rfm.pdf [3] THE EARLY BIRDS OF AVIATION, Inc. An organization of pioneers who flew solo before December 17, 1916 http://earlyaviators.com/index.htm [4] “El Imparcial” Newspaper 1896- 1914. http://www.bicentenario.gob.mx/in dex.php?option=com_content&vie w=article&id=1433:12-de- septiembre-de-1896-es-fundado- el-periodico-el- imparcial&catid=121:septiembre&I temid=222 [5] Mexican Aviation History Website http://prodigy.msn.com/?ocid=hml ogout&ar=3 [6] Tercer Simposio de Tecno-historia en la ciudad de México – “Y la ciudad miró al cielo”. El globo dirigible de El Buen Tono en la ciudad de México. Denise Hellion (Biblioteca Nacional de Antropología e Historia, INAH) http://www.inah.gob.mx/index.php/ boletines/2-actividades- academicas/3627-simposio- tecnohistoria [7] Gonzáles de Posada, Francisco, et al. Leonardo Torres Quevedo y la Conquista del Aire. Centenario de la botadura del dirigible “Torres Quevedo”. (Report on a series of conferences held on Guadalajara City, Spain. 2007-2008). Amigos de la Cultura Científica. Spain. 2008. [8] Villela Jr., Ing. José. Pioneros de la aviación Mexicana. Ediciones Colofón. 1964. [9] Edwin Mowforth, “An introduction to the airship”, Third edition, The Airship Association Ltd., September 2007 [10] Impacto Aéreo. Proyectos en movimiento http://www.impactoaereo.com/ [11] Romero, Manuel Ruiz. La Aviación durante la revolución Mexicana. Soporte Aeronáutico S.A. de C.V. 1988.

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