Wednesday, 11 September 2013

I feel a steampunk game coming on...

This is a new lighter-than-air heavy lift transport being developed in the USA.

Downside: it is not particularly fast compared to a jet or even a train.

Upside: incredibly fuel efficient since it doesn't use fuel for lift and it can land and take off vertically on any flattish surface so can move goods more point to point than a jet transport.

It is no more vulnerable than any other aircraft. The outer skin is apparently strong enough to be bullet proof (?) making it a lot tougher than helicopters.

Fascinating to think how these might have been developed if planes had not been invented.


  1. Dear Ray,
    Apparently it is being developed with military use in mind.

  2. I wonder if to get lighter than air aircraft, you need to eliminate WWI from history.

    1. Dear Paul
      What an interesting idea Paul.

    2. Might be a historical simplification--but without WWI, heavier than air aircraft I think would be developed a lot more slowly--maybe enough for lighter than air craft to dominate.

    3. You could be right Paul. Heavier than air machines were a toy in 1914. Machines like the Sopwith Camel were serious weapons by 1918 and the first strategic bombers had hit London.

  3. I featured one of these in a novel that is currently going through the necessary rewrite to tidy it up before sending it off.