These High-Flying Drones Almost Hit Satellite Status

Low earth orbit is becoming increasingly crowded with satellite traffic and, as Gravity showed us, increasingly treacherous. So rather than try to squeeze yet another spacecraft into the mix, a French consortium has begun development on a super-high altitude, autonomous dirigible that will skim along the edge of the… » 3/21/14 11:40am 3/21/14 11:40am

The World's Longest Aircraft Finally Gets Off the Ground

The HAV304 took the crown of “world's longest aircraft” with its inaugural flight today. The gargantuan spans a football field and towers just over two stories in height, owing its construction to pure metal. It sacrifices little in being the world's longest, as it still reaches 100 mph, which is triple that of the… » 2/28/14 7:00pm 2/28/14 7:00pm

The Coolest Toys from the 1911 FAO Schwarz Catalog

Smithsonian's Around the Mall blog recently dug up an awesome FAO Schwarz catalog from 1911, found over at the Internet Archive. It's filled with some pretty fantastic toys, including airship-themed board games, Kodak cameras, and carriages led by sheep. But these gifts didn't come cheap. » 12/24/13 12:01pm 12/24/13 12:01pm

31 Photos From the Golden Age of Airships, When Zeppelins Ruled the Sky

It's been nearly a century since airships floated by the Empire State Building. But now that the aluminum airship of the future is here and almost ready to carry passengers, it's high time that we took a look back to those few decades when majestic zeppelins seemed like the future of travel. » 9/24/13 9:00am 9/24/13 9:00am

The Incredible Engineering Behind History's Greatest Airships

Zeppelins are actually quite an impressive species of aeronautical engineering—you know, when they aren't on fire. That's especially true considering the level of technological prowess in the 1920's. Our friends at Oobject have assembled 12 shots of these magnificent air-borne cruisers before they ever lifted off.
Be… » 2/17/12 8:40pm 2/17/12 8:40pm

Beautiful Concept Airship Looks 85 Years into the Future

This whale-like entry into KLM Indonesia's aircraft design competition reminds me of the French "Manned Cloud" concept from a few years back. The WB-1010 would seat more than 1500 people, and use a combination of super-jet, helium, and wind power. » 10/14/09 11:10am 10/14/09 11:10am

Zeppelins Return to the US This Halloween, $785 Gets You On Board

We first learned about Airship Ventures plans » 10/08/08 7:00pm 10/08/08 7:00pm to bring airship travel back to the US after a 70 year absence back in May when they secured 8 million in funding for the project. Now it appears that their dream of filling the skies with huge, slow balloons once more will become a reality this Halloween when they will…

Zeppelins Return to US, Slightly Less Flammable Now

A San Francisco start-up called Airship Ventures has raised $8 million to launch its first Zeppelin this fall, for the purposes of tourism and research. The "flightseeing," as they're calling it, will cost a $250 to $500 for a spin around the Bay Area in a bonafide don't-call-it-a-blimp Zeppelin. What's the difference,… » 5/11/08 10:30am 5/11/08 10:30am