Thursday, April 28, 2011


Airships for the 21st Century - IEEE Spectrum Airships! I love airships. When I think about why, the Jules Verne area of my brain lights up. As a kid, I loved the Disney version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and from there it's a short hop to imaging an airship with Art Nouveau or Art Deco bits.

Then there's romance of the solitary designer, builder, pilot and captain of the airship (pause to imagine a double-breasted wool coat, turtleneck sweater, gloves, stainless steel tools, and binoculars) standing at the helm while the craft plies the clouds underneath stars. Oh, Alberto Santos-Dumont, are you sipping tea at some celestial cafe you've flown to in your personal dirigible?

But the reality is that one really good storm will rupture your envelope and there goes all your lift.  Then you crash into the ocean.  I'm sure there's a metaphor in there, somewhere.
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