The Sun story (I found thanks to the Drudge Report) about a 460 foot long yacht that sports its own helo pad and airship is kinda cool. I’m not sure it’s practical, but it’s kinda cool. I guess practicality may depend on your application or need for vindication.
Of course, the US Navy has the most complete history of pairing airships to surface ships, but everybody from NASA to Goodyear has practical application under their respective belt. To date, most of the practical application has been for surveillance or observation.
We’ve also carried stories about heavy lift freight airships, remote access hospital modules deployed by airship, equatorial arboreal species scientists using airships to enable research, and dozens of other potential applications of airships. And yet, the only airships we see commonly are somehow tied to sports or other major event coverage…. Meaning, of course, a form of surveillance and observation.
You’ve also seen us publish many, many stories about “drones”. How they have and will continue to endanger your privacy while adding to both your potential for improving personal security and detracting from it.
So what happens when the two technologies combine? What happens when a drone can stay aloft for months at a time while supporting the types of cameras that can read a license plate from a hundred and eight miles in space? Will they be used to capture more cute kitten footage for Facebook?
The dirigible airship, the oddball aircraft of another era, is making a comeback. California-based Aeros Corporation has created a prototype of its new breed of variable buoyancy aircraft and expects the vehicle to be finished before the end of 2012. With its new cargo handling technology, minimum fuel consumption, vertical take-off and landing features and point to point delivery, the Aeroscraft platform promises to revolutionize airship technology. . . . Read Complete Report
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL, Jul 19, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — World Surveillance Group Inc. WSGI +0.33% , a developer of lighter-than-air unmanned aerial vehicles (“UAVs”) and related technologies, today announced the intent to unveil its proprietary Blimp in a Box(TM) (“BIB”) system at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International’s (“AUVSI”) Unmanned Systems North America 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 6th – 9th. The BIB system is a compact, automated, self-contained aerostat platform that is intended to be mounted to the back of a standard vehicle. It is designed to provide real-time day/night high definition footage for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (“ISR”), detection of improvised explosive devices (“IEDs”), border security and other governmental and civilian uses . . . Read Complete Report
“The History of Ballooning, Blimps, and the Great Airships”
Over 500 scenes were gathered from old photos, vintage movie films and artwork to build a timeline of events. The documentary covers the 19th century experiments, the Civil War, the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corp., WWI and WWII. Movie footage of the Gordon Bennet Balloon Races show the WJR Radio Balloon and other Michigan Balloon entries. 42 minutes plus historic previews. Available from www.michiganhistoryvideos.com