Airships: The Future of Flight?

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Photo: El Bibliomata

The imaginary allure of traveling by airship comes to life for fans of steampunk through books like Leviathan and Boneshaker. Oh, the thrill of floating gracefully, quietly, through the clouds with the earth far below! The idea of traveling – or at least transporting goods – via airship may not be so far-fetched, according to Scientific American. Airships may very well be the future of flight.

Fueled with helium, rather than the oh-so-flammable hydrogen that made the Hindenburg a household name, these dirigibles offer potential for a greener, more efficient method of hauling goods.

  • While landing airplanes requires long runways, these airships can land in a much tighter space.
  • Dirigibles cost less to manufacture and to operate.
  • Developers claim that pollution is minimal.
  • Airships could provide delivery of goods to remote locations that are inaccessible by roads or airplanes.
  • The risks of losing cargo is minimal; in the event of an emergency, they just drift to earth and can even land on water.

Lockheed’s airship, SkyTug, is expected to be commercially available by late 2013. You may want to start boning up on steampunk essentials so you are properly equipped!

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2 thoughts on “Airships: The Future of Flight?

  1. One big problem: Helium is going to become very, very scarce. Our US supply is diminishing fast, and China is the next place with any. They have recently stopped exporting it.

    There was a write-up about it in National Geographic a couple of months ago.

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