2007 marks the 70th anniversary of the fiery destruction of giant airship and symbol of man's monumental lack of respect for the explosive power of hyrdogen, the Hindenburg. And what better way to ceommemorate than to launch a giant airship of your own? Nippon Airship, banking on the eternal appeal of going places very slowly, will launch Zeppelin NT later this week. Yes, the dirigible is not just for football games anymore. The new airship is the largest in the world, at some 75 meters long- roughly the length of a jumbo jet. It was built by Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik, a company that apparently stays afloat despite an annual global dirigible deman of about 3 units. And the new airship is nothing if not horribly inefficient. Whereas a 747 can accomodate around 400 passenges, the NT can hold eight people. Eight people, incidentally, who are somehow able to spend around $1100 for a 90 minute flight. I tells yah, it's the only way to travel.
I should point out that the NT is filled with helium. That's right, good ol' non-explosive helium. As well as being safer than the hydrogen-deathtrap Hindenburg, the NT also has the potential to turn any slow-leak situation into a hilarious spectacle. Just imagine the passengers attempting to cope with an emergency in squeaky, high-pitched voices.
In related news, Mothership, the Led Zeppelin greatest hits collection, is in stores now.
Zeppelin NT en route to Japan. For some reason, they had to send it by ship, despite the fact it can, you know, fly.