Helium dreams • 19 June 2008 • The SnowBlog

Helium dreams


Not sure about 'Zeppelin v Pterodactyls' as a movie concept, but Zeppelins on their own strikes me as a sound idea. I keep waiting for airships to make their inevitable and magnificent return. Picture a helium-filled Zeppelin, built using carbon fibre and up-to-the-second cleverness. Its skin would form one giant solar panel; its propulsion would be electric impeller engines. Just like the Zeppelins of old it would operate like a luxury cruise-liner of the skies: quiet, safe, comfortable. I can't quite decide whether to run them at a gentle hundred-mile-an-hour canter, so that the trip from London to New York takes a day and a half. Or slow them right down, and have them cruise four or five thousand feet above the waves at a sedate 35mph. That makes the Atlantic crossing a four day event, but you'd be able to walk around the promenade deck and even watch the dolphins through the telescopes on the rear sun terrace. If you have to fly, why not make it civilised?  


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