Happy Thanksgiving

by Dan Grossman on November 26, 2015

Airship Thanksgiving


November 21: The Birthday of Human Flight

by Dan Grossman on November 21, 2015

First manned flightOn November 21, 1783, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent, Marquis d’Arlandes, flew over Paris for 25 minutes in a hot air balloon built by the Montgolfier brothers.

It was the first manned flight in history.

Happy Birthday!


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Happy Airship Halloween

by Dan Grossman on October 31, 2015

Airship Halloween


There is NOT a military blimp on the loose

by Dan Grossman on October 28, 2015

Despite widespread but incorrect reports of a “military blimp” on the loose, the JLENS balloon that broke free from its tether is not a blimp.


A blimp is a powered, steerable lighter-than-air vessel. JLENS is an aerostat; a tethered balloon that is neither powered nor steerable.

Like any other helium balloon, if the string breaks, it just floats away.

The headlines are simply wrong.


Airships, Dirigibles, Zeppelins, & Blimps: What’s the Difference?







On October 15, 1910, Walter Wellman’s airship America departed Atlantic City, New Jersey on the first attempt in history to cross the Atlantic Ocean by air. In honor of this anniversary I have just published a detailed account of the airship and its flight.

Airship America, showing Equilibrator in the water


An Airship Tuberculosis Hospital

September 30, 2015

In the days before antibiotics, the only treatment for tuberculosis was sunlight, clean air, and good food. What better place than an airship? Before the 1940s, physicians would send their TB patients to a sanatorium in the mountains or desert in places like Switzerland, Scandinavia, the Rocky Mountains, or the southwestern United States. The July 1930 issue of Popular […]

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New “Hindenburg Cocktail” Recipe and a Tribute to Café de Abejas

September 15, 2015

I can’t believe it took me two years to stumble across the cocktail recipe published by Café de Abejas, a band from Helsinki, but I am glad I did! The band created their own recipe for a drink they named “Pauline’s Cherry Lips,” inspired by the “Kirschwasser martini” improvised by Hindenburg passenger Pauline Charteris when the […]

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Ed Regis Responds to Book Review of “Monsters”

September 14, 2015

I am very pleased to present this guest post by Ed Regis, in which he responds to my review of his recently-published Monsters: The Hindenburg Disaster and the Birth of Pathological Technology. I was very flattered to read such a glowing review of my book, and was equally glad to see your critical assessment of […]

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New Book about the Hindenburg: “Monsters” by Ed Regis

September 13, 2015

A wonderful new book about the Hindenburg disaster has just been published. Monsters: The Hindenburg Disaster and the Birth of Pathological Technology, is a reappraisal of the large rigid airship by science writer Ed Regis, who argues that the very concept of a hydrogen-inflated passenger airship was flawed from the beginning and an example of […]

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Toto’s Zeppelin – Restaurant and Lounge

September 9, 2015

Toto’s Zeppelin was a supper club designed like an airship, even copying the design and furniture of the passenger lounge on the Hindenburg. Located between Holyoke and Northampton, Massachusetts, Toto’s offered a restaurant, cocktail lounge, and dance floor, and operated from 1935 until it was destroyed by fire in November, 1938.

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This day in 1925: Loss of U.S.S. Shenandoah

September 3, 2015

On this day in 1925, the U.S.S. Shenandoah crashed in Ohio during a storm, destroyed by politics as much as the weather. Fourteen officers and sailors were killed in the disaster. A service commemorating the loss will be held this Sunday in Ava, Ohio.

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Today in 1930: First Flight of Soviet Airship “Komsomol’skaya Pravda”

August 29, 2015

A guest post by Alexey Belokrys. *********** On 29 August 1930, near Moscow, one of the earliest Soviet airships “Komsomol’skaya Pravda” (Комсомoльская прaвда) took off for her maiden flight. After a one-hour flight over Moscow she successfully landed. For the decade of the 1920s the Soviet state refrained from building airships. Neither the Red Army neither the […]

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Today in 1927 — U.S.S. Los Angeles does a “Handstand”

August 25, 2015

A guest post by Rick Zitarosa, Vice President and Historian of the Navy Lakehurst Historical Society. *********** 25 August 1927, Naval Air Station Lakehurst: One of the most famous moments of airship history as the USS LOS ANGELES did her fabled “head stand” on the “high mast.” Some background on this event. The big dirigible […]

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Today in 1921: Crash of Airship R-38 / ZR-2

August 24, 2015

On this day in 1921, the British-built airship R-38 — intended for U.S. Navy service as ZR-2 — broke up in the air near Hull and crashed into the waters of the Humber estuary where its hydrogen ignited, killing all but five of the 49 men aboard.  

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Happy Birthday, Ferdinand von Zeppelin: July 8, 1838

July 8, 2015

Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin was born on this day in 1838.  

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Happy July 4, America

July 4, 2015
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Happy Birthday, Zeppelins! 115 Years of Zeppelin Airships

July 2, 2015

The world’s first zeppelin flew for the first time 115 years ago today, on July 2, 1900. Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin completed his first airship, LZ-1, in the winter of 1899 but decided to wait until the summer of 1900 before attempting to fly his new invention. The ship was inflated with hydrogen in June and made its […]

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Happy Canada Day

July 1, 2015

R.100 in Canada, 1930.

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Newsreels of U.S.S. Akron (ZRS-4) from British Pathé

June 16, 2015

The people at British Pathé kindly send us a DM on Twitter (@Airships) about airship newsreels they have posted. We will be sharing them periodically on the blog. Today’s selection are two films of the U.S. Navy airship ZRS-4 Akron, showing her operation as an airborne aircraft carrier and her tragic crash.

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Airship Exhibit at New Museum in California

June 4, 2015

The New Museum Los Gatos is hosting an exhibition about airships. Giants in the Sky | The Rise and Fall of Airships will be a multimedia, interactive exposition including contemporary artwork, vintage photographs, artifacts, memorabilia, and video. The museum is located in Silicon Valley near San Jose and Moffett Field, home to the American naval […]

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