Bursting our balloon

You let your normally high standards slip in your editorial and article on airships (22 May).


To say: ‘history’s verdict on airships can be summed up in the main as a series of disasters’ only panders to the ignorant. What about the successes, including the first scheduled air services and first west-east Atlantic crossing?


To call Akron ‘the birthplace of the blimp’ is far from true, although Akron did contribute to rigid and non-rigid airship development.


‘The largest previous airship… was a mere 40,000m3‘; wrong again — this covers the largest blimp, but the last rigid airships were in the 200,000m3 class.


Finally: ‘a series of individual helium balloons’ does not minimise the risk of gas leaking; the larger number of balloons gives a larger gasbag area for the same gas storage, increasing the risk.


Mike West
Leafield Engineering
Wiltshire





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