Friday, October 21, 2011

Airship Update #1

Airships are those wonderful flying inventions that tend to dominate alternate history and steampunk.  If you, however, thought they only belonged in the imagination of the writers who craft fictional timelines, you would be wrong.  These majestic whales of the sky may be appearing over the horizon as you read this blog.

For example, did you know that there are organizations out there dedicated to promoting the use of airships?  One group is the Naval Airships Association, Inc., which promotes the history, education, applications, and technology of lighter-than-air (LTA) vehicles including balloons, blimps, dirigibles, zeppelins, and other airships. Despite its name, membership in the Naval Airship Association requires no naval affiliation and is open to anyone. Membership includes full website access and a subscription to their publication, The Noon Balloon.

Of course, what arguments could organizations like the NAA possibly make to get everyone to forget this:


Furthermore, what possible use could airships have in the modern world of heavier-than-air flight?

Well, for one thing, they can be used to transport goods to Canada's north, provide battlefield intelligence over Afghanistan, advertise product or scare gullible peasantsSome could be designed to use solar power, making them better for the environment then modern aricraft.  In fact, airships have so much untapped potential because people just see the picture above.  Instead they should be looking at this concept airship from Retronaut called the "Archangel":



How cool does that look?  The future airships, however, is unlikely to look like the classic cigar shape we are familiar with.  In reality it is going to look like the Seymourpowell Aircruise, a proposed luxury cruise ship that sails the skies instead of the seas.  Check out the official video below:



So perhaps those guys you see dressed up like futuristic Victorians at sci-fi conventions know something we do not.  Airships are likely to come back in a big and unexpected way and Alternate History Weekly Update will make sure you stay informed.

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Mitro is founder, editor and contributor of Alternate History Weekly Update. When he is not busy writing about his passion for alternate history, he spends his time working as a licensed attorney in the state of Illinois and dreams of being a published author himself one day.

3 comments:

  1. Sorry, Mitro. That SeymourPowell thing is a load of hot air (putting it very politely). I wrote about this in my blog http://BeneathGraySki.es/?p=552 and Dan at airships.net has also exploded this one (pun intended).

    Not to say that there are some semi-serious airship proposals, but you picked a poor example here, I'm afraid.

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  2. Thanks for the update, I will try to be more careful in the future. In the meantime, if you wish, I would not mind posting some of your thoughts on airships as part the Airship Update series.

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  3. Just contact me by email/facebook if you are interested.

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