Steam Hippomobile by Renard et Krebbs from 1879, France

Charles Renard (1847–1905) born in Damblain, Vosges, was a French military engineer. After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 he started work on the design of airships at the French army aeronautical department. Together with Arthur C. Krebs and his brother Paul, in 1884 he constructed La France, which made its maiden flight on 9 August 1884 at Chalais-Meudon, making a 23-minute circular flight. This was the first time that a flying machine made a flight which returned to the place of take-off. It was later exhibited at the Paris Exposition Universelle (1889).

Arthur Constantin Krebs (16 November 1850 in Vesoul, France – 22 March 1935 in Quimperlé, France) was a French officer and pioneer in automotive engineering. Collaborating with Charles Renard, he piloted the first fully controlled free-flight made in the French Army airship La France, which was designed in 1884. The flight covered 8 km (5.0 mi) in 23 minutes. It was with a landing at the starting point. On its seven flights the La France dirigible returned five times to its starting point.

Krebs introduced many improvements in car design: the steering wheel (1898), non-reversible steering (1898), engine balance (1898), nickel steel alloys and other special steel alloys (1901), the shock absorber (1906), multi-disc clutch (1907), the electric brake dynamometer for testing high performance engines (1905), the enveloping (globoid) Worm gear differential (1915).

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