The Future for Airships

The anniversary of the Hindenburg disaster recently passed on May the 6th. The event became something of a landmark in modern  transportation as interest in airships waned over safety concerns and the appeal of the airplane as a faster mode of transportation. For a long time, the airship became something appreciated for it’s novelty rather than its practicality.

But all of that could change in the future. Is There a Future for Airships? written by Bruce Dorminey and The Daily Climate for Scientific American addresses the notion of dirigibles being used in the future as a means for transporting cargo.

These cousins of the old airships of the twentieth century are a cross between lighter than air technology and fixed wing aircraft. The advancements made in airship technology have been astounding, and the airship’s ability to do things aircraft cannot, such as landing without an airship or tarmac and its significantly smaller demands for fuel, make the dirigible an interesting contender for the future of aerospace.

To read all about it, check out the article here.

Airship Ventures

During the Q&A session with Abney Park at A-Kon 21, somehow Captain Robert got on the topic of airships (crazy, I know) and regaled the audience with an incredible tale of high flying adventure!

A while back, Abney Park was approached by a company called Airship Ventures. They worked out a deal wherein the band would play a concert in the belly of an airship in what would be the first airship flight of the 21st century. The band crafted miniature instruments specifically for the cramped quarters of an airship in preparation for this historic event. Tickets to said event sold out in 12 seconds. 12 freaking seconds. I’d hate to be the person who was waiting for purchasing to start, when a spot on the TV distracted him for a moment:

“Oh, I’ll just watch some TV while I wait for this epic Abney Park concert’s tickets to go on sale.”

13 seconds later

“That was a dumb commercial! Time to buy my…. Damn it!”

All seemed a go until the day of the historic airship launch and the high flying concert, when a thunderstorm grounded the flight. Though incredibly disappointing, it was the right decision, especially when one considers what happened on the last airship flight of the 20th century:

Yeah... probably better to err on the side of caution.

And while the band did not get to perform in the first ever airship flight since the Hindenburg disaster, there are still airship flights of San Fransisco Bay, LA, and the Monterrey Coast flown by Airship Ventures. What better place to hold a Steampunk meeting than in an ACTUAL AIRSHIP?

Be aware, though… flights will cost the aspiring airship pirate quite a pretty penny to get the privilege of traveling in what is one of the most Steampunk manners possible.

And, as for the Abney Park concert, it’s on hold, but I think everyone is hoping that it goes through at some point. It’s just too epic not to do.