Friday, May 6, 2011

A Bad Day For Zeppelins

This day in history, 1937, witnessed the explosion and crash of the German zeppelin Hindenburg. The incident is associated with the end of the first era of commercial airships, although they keep threatening to come back as inexpensive means of carrying bulk cargo. I'd love to see it, myself. There are some very imaginative designs for rigid and semi-rigid airships out there these days, and helium is a lot safer than hydrogen (assuming we do not just piss away the world's entire supply of helium into colored balloons).

But for now, all we're left with is the memory of these amazing, majestic vessels.

Here's a link to the original New York Times article.


  1. Good Timing for an article.
    I was just reading that Goodyear will be closing down its Blimps and buying three new Zeppelin NT's and that the COSH (control of static heavyiness) system will get a flight trial in 2013.
    The futures looking rosier for these wonderful machines now than it has in the last 80 years!

  2. Andrew -- I did a bunch of research on modern airship design about fifteen years ago for a Traveller book called FIRE, FUSION, AND STEEL. Even then there were some great designs hovering (no pun intended) on the brink of production. For some reason, none of them made it to series production. Hopefully this current generation of designs will break the jinx.