A comprehensive history of the development of the airship, appealing to the enthusiast and general reader alike
Tracing the development of the airship, this book relates the struggles of the early pioneers, from the Montgolfier brothers, and the parallel of the hydrogen balloon. Throughout the 19th century, "Aeronauts" learned the skill of aerial navigation, making lost distance flights in an unfamiliar element. Attempts were made to control the direction of flight, first by the use of steam, then by utilizing electrical power, and finally the petrol engine. From 1900, Count Zeppelin developed the rigid airship from a faltering experimental craft into a potent war weapon. Between the wars it appeared that the giant passenger-carrying airships offered the solution to long distance air travel, but this dream proved illusory. In the present age, airships are again being considered for new uses including airborne military command posts and geostationary unmanned "Aerostats" harvesting the power of the "Jetstream" to provide an umlimited supply of electrical power for the planet.