Tagged With airships

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Low earth orbit is becoming increasingly crowded with satellite traffic and, as Gravity showed us, increasingly treacherous. So rather than try to squeeze yet another spacecraft into the mix, a French consortium has begun development on a super-high altitude, autonomous dirigible that will skim along the edge of the stratosphere.

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The HAV304 took the crown of "world's longest aircraft" with its inaugural flight today. The gargantuan spans a football field and towers just over two stories in height, owing its construction to pure metal. It sacrifices little in being the world's longest, as it still reaches 100 mph, which is triple that of the dwarfish Goodyear blimp. Further, it can stay airborne for just over three weeks (and hypothetically, if it could maintain its maximum speed for all that time, it would travel over 80,000km.)

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Zeppelins are actually quite an impressive species of aeronautical engineering — you know, when they aren't on fire. That's especially true considering the level of technological prowess in the 1920's. Our friends at Oobject have assembled 12 shots of these magnificent air-borne cruisers before they ever lifted off.

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What in the name of every single goddamn fruitbat is this? Did someone create a cybernetic Dune sandworm and equip it with anti-gravity engines? I wish. In reality, it's the Sanswire-TAO STS-111, a completely new kind of airship.

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With soaring fuel costs and greenhouse gas concerns, zeppelins might get their second chance to be a relevant mode of transportation. According to the New York Times, several countries are now looking into developing dirigibles for transporting things such as sightseers, postal deliveries and scientific payloads. France's postal service, La Poste, seems to have some of the most ambitious plans in mind: using airships on routes between France and Corsica or the Antilles in an effort to reduce emissions.