(redirected from gondola cars)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.


1. a long narrow flat-bottomed boat with a high ornamented stem and a platform at the stern where an oarsman stands and propels the boat by sculling or punting: traditionally used on the canals of Venice
a. a car or cabin suspended from an airship or balloon
b. a moving cabin suspended from a cable across a valley, etc.
3. a flat-bottomed barge used on canals and rivers of the US as far west as the Mississippi
4. US and Canadian a low open flat-bottomed railway goods wagon
5. a set of island shelves in a self-service shop: used for displaying goods
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.




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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The dynamic characteristics of gondola cars on bogies of the model ZK1 and indicators of their impact on railway track
To quantify stresses generated in the gondola cars during transportation and dumping, strain gages were installed on the top chord as well as the side walls of the car.
It designs and builds quality rail-cars, such as coal cars, bulk commodity cars, covered hopper cars, inter modal and non-inter modal flat cars, mill gondola cars, coil steel cars and boxcars.
7851 gondola cars and 405 units of other stock owned by operator) which will drive Globaltrans' owned fleet over 58 thousand units.
Additionally, BNSF is investing in new locomotives and 66-foot gondola cars, Garin told attendees.
Fifteen enclosed gondola cars, each capable of carrying six passengers, shuttle continuously between the ski lodge and the summit of 6,666-foot Eagle Peak seven days a week throughout the summer.
The company designs and builds quality rail cars such as coal cars, bulk commodity cars, covered hopper cars, inter-modal and non-inter modal flat cars, mill gondola cars, coil steel cars and boxcars.
Globaltrans lowered its empty run ratio for gondola cars to 41% vs.
For many, the biggest problem remains finding a way to ship scrap, as gondola cars remain hard to find, as are trucks with drivers.