I’ve been dreaming about the return of these “air yachts”, lofted by helium rather than explosive hydrogen, since the day in 1973 I rode the old Goodyear blimp. Slid back the passenger window and listened to a dog barking below. Ah, someday.

This good history site about the Hindenburg (above) the Graf Zeppelin and assorted others will have to do for now. Unless you can hook a ride on Zeppelin’s new Goodyear semi-dirigible. But it doesn’t have private, sleeping cabins or a viewing promenade.

6 responses to “Airships

  1. I dunno, Dick. I was THIS close to the Goodyear blimp one day at work. I was up on the top deck of the structure, 5th, 7th, story, something like that, heard it and looked up.

    The wind was blowing like hell, and the pilot was trying to control it enough to keep it from running over the rest of the plant, where there are much higher structures. He couldn’t seem to gain altitude, and it kept being blown in my direction. I climbed down, ASAP, back to my little operations shack.

    Reading up on them a bit, every time they’ve been tried, their instability in weather has doomed their popularity.

  2. Could have been pilot-error, or an unbreakable landing commitment. Even planes and certainly helicopters have problems with wind. Plus the old blimp was somewhat vulnerable in ways the semi-dirigible shouldn’t be. Nowadays with GPS positioning, up-to-the-second weather forecasting and computer navigation, there’s not much reason to get caught in high winds, making the old instability dangers less likely.

  3. OK, then. You can book your flight. I’ll drive.

  4. Been to Europe already. Been to Asia, too. Been to Mexico. Don’t plan to go to any of those again, if I can help it.

    Canada, now… I’m not sure. I hear Banff is good.

  5. It is indeed difficult to see how a blimp could manage against strong wind. But yes, I can see where it could be attractive to fly in one of those.