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Arthur Krebs (18501935), then managing

director of the Panhard et Levassor

company in 1910
The Gymnote submarine in 1888. Arthur
Krebs holds the airing mast. The periscope
is visible
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(Redirected from Arthur Krebs)
Arthur Constantin Krebs (16 November 1850 in Vesoul, France
22 March 1935 in Quimperl, 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 shared the 1886 Ponti prize of the French Acadmie des
sciences, with Charles Renard, for their contribution to Aerostation.
Krebs inspired J ules Verne, in Verne's novel Robur The Conqueror
written in 1886, he writes of "the striking experiments of Captain
Krebs and Captain Renard".
In 1888 Krebs and Gustave Zd designed the first modern French
submarine, the Gymnote. The submarine was fitted with the first
naval periscope and the first naval electric gyrocompass. The latter
allowed the Gymnote to force a naval block in 1890.
From 1884 to 1897 Arthur Krebs modernized the Ville de Paris fire
department; not only its equipment but its organisation as well. His
work left a lasting impression in this elite corps.
In May 1896 Arthur Krebs patented a new automobile, fitted with
an electromagnetic gearbox and a layout of the front wheels which
re-centred them when the steering wheel was left alone, today this is
known as the Castor angle. The Panhard et Levassor company
acquired a license to build 500 cars under the name of Clement-
Panhard between 1898 and 1902 featuring this innovation.
Krebs succeeded Levassor as Panhard et Levassor's general manager from 1897 to 1916. He transformed the
Panhard et Levassor Company into one of the largest and most profitable automobile manufacturers before
World War I.
In 1898 Krebs replaced the tiller with an inclined steering wheel for the Panhard et Levassor car he designed for
the Paris-Amsterdam race which ran from the 7 to 13 J uly 1898. Fernand Charron won that race on a four
cylinders Panhard et Levassor. At the end of 1898, C S Rolls introduced the first car in Britain fitted with wheel
when he imported a 6 hp Panhard et Levassor from France.
In 1902 Krebs invented the automatic diaphragm carburettor which gave cars continuous power during
acceleration by providing a constant air-fuel ratio at all times; this also led to dramatic improvement in fuel
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Electromagnetic gearbox from Krebs's car
patent of 1896
The four wheel drive and four wheel
steering Chatillon-Panhard military truck
during the World War I
The 1906 Krebs testimony in the
Selden case
In 1906 Krebs traveled to the United States of America to plead in
the Selden Case, associated with Henry Ford.
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).
Also, Krebs contributed significantly to improve the Systeme
Panhard (engine in front, rear wheel drive) which became
universally adopted before World War II.
In 1909, he became interested in the Knight patent (sleeve valve
engine) and was first in France to build that type of engine which
Panhard et Levassor would produce during the thirty years leading
up to World War II.
He made contributions to automotive racing with his powerful cars
and motorboats.
In 1911 Krebs invented the first elastomeric flexible coupling (cf.
J ohn Piotrowski). It is known in French as the Flector joint. This
device is still widely used today in industry for power transmission as a
tyre coupling.
The truck was meant for military and civil purposes. Krebs designed it in
1911, jointly with the Chatillon Co, the all-terrain truck named Tracteur
Chatillon-Panhard, had four wheel drive and four wheel steering. Many
of these trucks were used during World War I as artillery tractors.
Krebs also utilized his former military membership to supply the French
Army with engines and vehicles including the 1904 Genty Armored car,
the 1916 St Chamond tank, the Chatillon-Panhard 4x4 truck, and others.
In 1960, the United Kingdom Antarctic Place-Names Committee
(UK-APC) named "Krebs Glacier" a glacier flowing west into the head
of Charlotte Bay on the west coast of Graham Land in the Antarctic
continent, after the name of Arthur C. Krebs who constructed and flew,
with Charles Renard, the first dirigible airship capable of steady flight
under control, in 1884.
1 Papers presented to the French Acadmie des sciences
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2 References
3 See also
4 External links
18 August 1884 Krebs and Renard : About the "La France" Dirigible.
11/10/1884 Krebs and Renard : The "La France" Dirigible.
1888 Krebs : Closed Magnetic Field system of the Telephone.
1888 Krebs : Electric Engine Trials for a Submarine Boat.
1890 Krebs : The First Electric Gyrocompass (presented par M. Dumoulin-Froment)
24 November 1902 Krebs : The Automatic Carburettor.
13 November 1905 Krebs : The Electric Dynamometric Brake.
15 J anuary 1906 Krebs : The Progressive Shock Absorber.
04/08/1907 Krebs : The liquid flow measurement apparatus.
In 1934, several month before Arthur Krebs's death, he was made a Commandeur of the Legion of Honor for his
work in Aeronautics and for his contributions to the automotive industry.
^ electric-powered ( 1.
^ the first full round trip flight ( 2.
^ [1] ( 3.
Charles Renard
Pierre J ules Csar J anssen
Timeline of aviation - 19th century
Panhard et Levassor
The 1916 St Chamond tank
Timeline of hydrogen technologies
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Charles Renard and Arthur Krebs in the US Centennial of Flight Commission
The site dedicated to Arthur KREBS (in English) (
Clement-Panhard on the Web (
Hydroplane History : The Development of the High-Speed Launch or Automobile Boat 1904
J ules Verne : Robur The Conqueror (
Retrieved from ""
Categories: 1850 births 1935 deaths People from Vesoul Ballooning French inventors J ules Verne
Ecole Spciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr alumni
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