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the cabin attached to a balloon or aircraft, used as the crew’s quarters and for stowage of equipment and ballast.
The gondolas on the first free balloons were in the shape of the Venetian gondola (hence the name); later, an open osier wickerwork basket was used. With a light weight this basket possessed sufficient strength and elasticity to soften the shock upon landing. For tethered balloons used for adjusting artillery fire, the gondolas are made from plywood. For high-altitude balloons, airtight spherical gondolas of metal or plastic are used, with a shock absorber of wicker or a pneumatic shock absorber of rubberized material. The gondola is fastened to the soft envelope of the balloon by a rope or cable suspension rigging. The metal streamlined gondolas of the semirigid and rigid dirigibles are fastened to metal structures on the body. Pneumatic shock absorbers of aircraft-type tricycle landing gear are mounted on the bottom of the gondola.
N. F. LOGINOV
a single-oar flat-bottommed boat with high figured prow and stern, found chiefly in Venice and mentioned in sources as early as the end of the 11th century.
The average length of the gondola is 10 m; its average width is 1.3 m. The gondola is steered by a single oarsman, called the gondolier, who stands at the stern and faces in the direction of motion. Usually a gondola has a cabin or shed for passengers. Present-day gondolas in Venice are used mostly for tourists.