Climbing the Stairway to Heaven Again
October 11, 2004 5:42 AM   Subscribe

For the first time in over 60 years, airships along the design principles of Graf Ferdinand von Zeppelin are being built. You can now fly in a genuine Zeppelin. They aren't the same thing as blimps, which look very similar to the untrained eye. Zeppelin's have a great history, both astounding and at times tragic! Although the famous Hindenberg disaster wasn't all it seemed! Finally, the link that no Zeppelin thread would be complete without.
posted by DrDoberman (12 comments total)
And if you're really wild about zeppelin's, pick one up this holiday season at Neiman Marcus. Only $10 million dollars!
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:02 AM on October 11, 2004

[this is good]

In Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow the opening scene has a blimp docking with the Empire State Building, as the building's top was originally designed to do; that scene was extremely cool to watch.

Seeing these links makes me hope that such airships may actually be a reality for air travel sometime in the future; there's something about them that just makes plane travel pale by comparison.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 7:24 AM on October 11, 2004

Seeing these links makes me hope that such airships may actually be a reality for air travel sometime in the future

The company has already built three airships - Joey, Charly, and CL 75 AirCrane. Market studies have shown that the future belongs to airship transportation. It will be especially efficient for transporting large components...
posted by DrDoberman at 7:35 AM on October 11, 2004

Thanks for this. I've been wanting to write a brief history of airships for quite some time. I'm not sure why.
posted by nthdegx at 7:53 AM on October 11, 2004

Wow. Zeppelins are fascinating, (retro-)futuristic and a little frightening in their volatile nature; always reminiscent of Metropolis (Many of the gigantic sets were built inside vacant zeppelin hangars...) and the many films it has inspired (and continues to inspire...)
posted by Shane at 8:12 AM on October 11, 2004

cyrusdogstar, it's a minor quibble but what you saw in that scene was an airship, a dirigible, docking with the Empire State Building. As DrDoberman said in the post, airship!=blimp.

On the other hand, I just saw Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and thought the docking scene you mentioned was as preposterous as, well, as Gwyneth Paltrow's acting career. But it's all right here. Incredible!
posted by coelecanth at 8:15 AM on October 11, 2004

Oh, the humanity, this is terrific!!
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:25 AM on October 11, 2004
posted by mwhybark at 10:36 AM on October 11, 2004

coelecanth, my bad, that was a slip of the tongue--I'm just conditioned to say 'blimp' when I see an airship, like many Americans ;) I do in fact recognize the differences between the two terms. Thanks, though :)
posted by cyrusdogstar at 10:47 AM on October 11, 2004

I love zeppelins. One of the reasons I love Crimson Skies so much is because it's full of zeppelins - although having to fly down the inside of one that's full of rotating saw blades is, um, nerve-wracking to say the least.

I like them so much I made them an important transportation system in my comic, for transporting both people and cargo (blatant self link, sorry)

It's too bad that actually docking a zeppelin at the Empire State turned out to be downright dangerous - the building creates powerful updrafts straight up its sides, so once you actually attach the zep to the docking clamp, the wind tries to upend it. Not fun!
posted by zoogleplex at 12:23 PM on October 11, 2004

it's the blimp, frank, it's the blimp! when i see you floatin' down the gutter, i'll give you a bottle of wine...

[thanks, dr doberman]
posted by ubersturm at 12:49 PM on October 11, 2004

[this is excellent]

And thanks for the link, monju_bosatsu! I've started a savings account... :)
posted by soundofsuburbia at 4:03 PM on October 11, 2004

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