76 years ago today, the Hindenburg crashed over New Jersey, killing 35 people and ending the era of the airship. From the Popular Science archive, what it would have been like to travel the world in a Zeppelin.
By John E. LodgePosted 05.06.2013 at 6:00 pm 7 Comments
LAS VEGAS--Military personnel and defense contractors attending the year’s largest unmanned systems convention here awoke this morning to a bit of breaking robotics news unraveling thousands of miles away from their briefing rooms and exhibition booths. First lighting up Twitter and later acknowledged by the Army, the first flight of Northrop Grumman’s robotic Long-Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) took place this morning in New Jersey, marking the first flight of one of the DoD’s next generation military airships.
By Josh BearmanPosted 07.02.2012 at 10:12 am 62 Comments
"Some kids wanted to be firefighters,” Igor Pasternak says. “I always thought about blimps.” Pasternak grew up in Lviv, Ukraine, near a weather station. When he was six, he convinced the Soviet meteorologists there to let him launch one of their balloons. “I was hooked,” he says. “I wanted to build airships.”
Back on April 22, residents of California and Nevada had their day interrupted by a series of sonic booms and a huge daytime fireball in the sky, products of an incoming minivan-sized asteroid that came slamming into the atmosphere, breaking up on its way to the ground. The fireball ended its descent in the Sierra Nevada mountains, where some chunks of the asteroid have been recovered.
The second golden age of the airship has run head-on into a logistical snag, Danger Room reports this morning. The military is so eager to get more airships in the air in places like Afghanistan that industry cannot keep up with its demand for helium gas and helium gas containers.
The first time retired computer engineer Jack Clemens tried to build a scale model of the USS Macon, a helium-filled naval airship lost in bad weather in 1935, his cat jumped on the prototype from a high shelf and ruined the hull. Clemens finished a second version in 2008 but totaled it during an unexpectedly windy test flight. Finally, in April, Clemens completed version number 3, a 20-foot-long radio-controlled replica accurate down to practically every detail, from the airbag to the propellers.
The tadpole-shaped airship formerly known as STS-111, currently known as Argus One, and commonly referred to as the sperm blimp, has completed initial flight tests and is on its way to the U.S. Army’s Yuma proving ground to undergo military testing.