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Zeppelins Aloft!

In the early 20th century, the innovative zeppelin airships were hailed as the future of flight, and made traversing the skies an exciting adventure for the masses.

Then, following the tragic 1937 Hindenburg disaster, the industry all but vanished for 75 years.

Today, a few airship companies are attempting a glorious comeback, and have transformed the tired old image of the zeppelin into something wonderfully new.

Most are designed for cargo, others for pleasure. However, the newest variation of dirigibles are nothing like the iconic zeppelin we’re used to seeing.

These hybrid airships are bigger, stronger, faster, and have more commercial prowess than previous versions. The most groundbreaking of the new airship pursuits is the United States based Aeros company.

Their flagship, the Aeroscraft, is one of the most innovative dirigibles ever created. With its rigid structure, vertical takeoff and landing capability, massive cargo hold, and aerodynamic design, the Aeroscraft is set to define the zeppelin industry in the near future.

The Aeroscraft is a hybrid airship, meaning it relies on both an internal ballast system (buoyancy  control) and a fixed wing design. Whereas traditional airships tend to damage the environment when they re-ballast, the Aeroscraft’s internal system allows it to offload cargo and hover above the ground with a full payload, free of traditional means of ballasting.

Aeros’ ships are also designed to function without the need of a hangar facility or grounds crew. Since the ships are more environmentally acclimated than traditional zeppelins, they require very little maintenance, and perform much longer than current models. Aeros has already contracted their designs to the U.S. government, and are working on several prototypes, with maiden flights scheduled for the next few years.

In the commercial and public industry, Aeros is developing dirigibles for primary use as cargo carriers, but also has plans for civilian variations, to function as floating cruise ships and sightseeing aircraft. Similar companies like Airship Ventures and E-Green Technologies have also been building and designing their own zeppelin concepts.

With the combined ambition of these various airship organizations, we may yet see the return of Hindenburg-sized aircraft, offering us safer and more efficient means of travel.

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