Since the tragic 1937 fire and crash of German passenger airship Hindenburg at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey, no one has given airships a fair shake. This is understandable—hydrogen is highly flammable. But the possibility of airships making a comeback lived on through science fiction authors. For example, in the best-selling 2017 novel New York 2140, author Kim Stanley Robinson confronts a world so utterly transformed by climate change that airships are the predominant form of transportation and housing.
1. Lewis Jamison, Geoffrey S. Sommer, and Isaac R. Porche III, High Altitude Airships for the Future Force Army, RAND Corporation (2005), 31.
2. Jeffrey Lin and Peter Singer, “China’s New Stealth Fighter Uses Powerful Materials with Geometry Not Found in Nature,” Popular Science, 22 March 2018.
3. Dino Brugioni, Eyes in the Sky: Eisenhower, the CIA, and Cold War Aerial Espionage (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2011).
4. Sandra Erwin, “U.S. Intelligence: Russia and China Will Have ‘Operational’ Anti-satellite Weapons in a Few Years,” SpaceNews, 14 February 2018.
5. Kaitlin Kelly, “MCSC Teams with Marines To Build World’s First Continuous 3D-Printed Concrete Barracks,” Marines.mil, 24 August 2018.
6. Sydney Freedberg, “Marines See Anti-Ship HIMARS: High Cost, Hard Mission,” Breaking Defense, 14 November 2017.
7. “DARPA Asks Raytheon to Develop Radar for Integrated Sensors-is-Structure Program,” Raytheon Corporation, 8 August 2006.
8. Jack Crosbie, “Amazon Has a Patent for Floating Blimp Warehouses,” Inverse, 2 December 2016.