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Airships: A century from prototype to spaceflight?

25 Feb 2012, 01:21 UTC
Airships: A century from prototype to spaceflight?
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Airships. There’s a certain nostalgic thrill to the streamline, art deco aircraft heyday that nearly was. To the point (and as illustrated above): the Empire State Building’s observation tower was originally intended to serve as a mooring point for airships. Achieving the power of flight by harnessing a buoyant gas is simple, reliable, quiet, low-velocity, [...]

An airship that might have been, from "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow." (Credit: Paramount)
Airships. There’s a certain nostalgic thrill to the streamline, art deco aircraft heyday that nearly was.
To the point (and as illustrated above): the Empire State Building’s observation tower was originally intended to serve as a mooring point for airships.
Achieving the power of flight by harnessing a buoyant gas is simple, reliable, quiet, low-velocity, and (after shifting away from using an explosive gas) veritably safe. -And to many’s surprise, it might soon take us to space.
USS Shenandoah, U.S. Navy ZR-1, under construction in 1923.
Early 20th Century
Many don’t realize that the United States had airships in military service, which were outgrowths of a German design reverse-engineered after World War I.
For example, from 1922-1923, the first rigid airship, ZR-1 USS Shenandoah was constructed. Several subsequent ...

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