Zodiac Group

Zodiac Group

The Zodiac Group is a French corporation with worldwide presence, specialized in the production and development of aerosafety systems, aircraft systems, airline equipment, airbags, remote transmissions, boats and swimming pools, however they are best known for their widely used small inflatable boats. The company is a blue-chip stock, listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange.

Founded in 1896 by Maurice Mallet under the name of Société Mallet, Mélandri et de Pitray, it was an aeronautical firm developing airships. In 1909, Mallet changed the name to Société Française de Ballons Dirigeables et d'Aviation Zodiac, as he was keen to establish his firm's presence in all areas of the conquest of the skies.

At the beginning of World War I, Zodiac started to make airships for the French government, but these were shown to be disappointing for strategic bombing. Therefore, Zodiac created an airplane manufacturing unit wholly separate from its balloon operations. By 1916, the company was delivering two airplanes per week.

Zodiac Boat

In the 1930s they invented the concept of the inflatable boat, the commercial success of which after World War II established the Zodiac brand image. In the early 21st century, Zodiac is working to expand across five business segments: aerosafety systems, aircraft systems, airline equipment, marine systems, and other technology.

Zodiac boats became particularly well known during the run of the television series, "The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau," as they were the small craft of choice for excursions away from the Calypso.

The Marine Mammal Center in Northern California uses Zodiac inflatable craft in the ocean rescue of injured or malnourished marine mammals. The Zodiac inflatable boats are also commonly used by the United States Navy.

The word "zodiac" is sometimes used as a genericized trademark for any rigid-hulled inflatable boat.

ee also

* Inflatable boat
* Rigid-hulled inflatable boat

External links

* [http://www.zodiac.com/ www.Zodiac.com]


*Ventry, Lord & Kolesnik, Eugen M., "Airship Saga," Poole, Dorset, Britain, Blanford Press, 1982, ISBN 0-07137-1001-2

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