Wednesday, June 02, 2010
I am a great fan of lighter than air rigid inflatables. Zeppelin NT is a German company bringing back commercial Zeppelins, though I think they are only semi-rigids as opposed to full zeppelins like the Hindenberg or Blimps like those flown by the Goodyear company.
NASA and Lighter than Air, see the New Scientist and a NASA video Test Inflation Video
See video of the Hindenberg crash...filled with Hydrogen.
Good books: Dr. Eckner's DreamMachine, about very successful Graf Zeppelin
or Skyships, a history of Airships in the U.S. Navy
I have read both of these as well as several of the others listed at the University of Colorado website referenced here.
To fly in a Zeppelin, check out Airship Ventures in California.
For those of you in Oregon, as I am, many of the books listed above are available at the Multnomah County Library.
Also, consider visiting a WWII Navy Dirigible base, The Tillamook Air Museum, at the site of the old Tillamook Airstation, a port for anti-submarine flights in WWII.