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Zepplins will save the airlines

I read recently about some European airlines being unable to afford the fuel for their planes. The air-travel industry has been in a bad way for a long time, and rising fuel prices will, I think, put an end to them unless they can be innovative. Personally, I think they should go with zepplins. With modern technology and understanding of the mechanics of things related to zepplins, there would be minimal risk of repeating the Hindenberg disaster. Fuck, they could even use aluminum for the whole damn thing, coat it in rubber to insulate it, and it would still fly. Granted, they'd still need fuel for zepplins, but nowhere near as much as they'd need for jet planes. Because, of course, all the fuel would be used for is for steering.

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
kengr
Sep. 18th, 2008 12:25 am (UTC)
The Hindenburg disaster may have gotten the public afraid to use dirigibles (the proper term, Zeppelins were dirigibles built by Zeppelin), but what killed them was the fact that they are incredibly fragile.

They can't outrun storm lines nor fly high enough to go over them. And and the sort of turbulence and wind shear that will cause a jumbo jet to drop a few thousand feet in seconds will rip a dirigible into little pieces.

The US Navy was operating dirigibles for years after the Hindenberg. And lost several to storms. Which is why they quit using them.

Look up the Akron, the Macon and the Shenendoah.
fayanora
Sep. 18th, 2008 07:02 am (UTC)
but what killed them was the fact that they are incredibly fragile.

They *were* incredibly fragile. With modern technology, they can be made to be much better.


kengr
Sep. 18th, 2008 07:24 am (UTC)
There are limits. And *vecause* they have to be lighter than air, even the stronger stuff we've got now isn't going to help a lot.

Airships are a lot slower than jumbo jets. It's the friction drag on all that surface (as well as the pressure drag on the huge cross sectional area)
(Deleted comment)
fayanora
Sep. 18th, 2008 09:37 am (UTC)
Better yet: giant sling shots!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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