Mark A
An NT machine visited San Diego a while back and they are truly unique aircraft. The view from the rear window is fantastic, you can look straight down. They are also very light, I was able to lift it.
Slowburn
I was hoping for a fully rigid design.
Racqia Dvorak
What a waste of helium.... do people really not know how valuable and limited it is? Come on, hydrogen is more dangerous, but it's also unlimited and more effective. Surely we can be safer than people in the 30's.
Don Duncan
More dangerous, yes, but not very dangerous. It was not hydrogen that caused the fire, it was a new dope + the surface design. It was a flying bomb. Static electricity collected on the surface provided the "match" that lit it. The explosion was not an accident. It was inevitable. The mistake was in the doping agent covering the surface. It was later used as rocket fuel. The company discovered their mistake within a few weeks of doing a postmortem, but never released the revelation to avoid a lawsuit.
Stephen N Russell
Get more & have a Air Tours Div for income IE have some carry 8 passengers for air tours over city with camera pod below for scanning 360 deg Below gondola module. IE for newscasting alone.
Gregg Eshelman
This one is the NT, when will the 2000 and the XP be introduced? ;-)
TogetherinParis
I'm just spitballing here, but wouldn't the addition of helium and hydrogen be less flammable/inflammable than pure hydrogen alone? Perhaps some mixture might be arrived at by titration that would allow the lighter combination? Sure would save money. Of course, O2 from the atmosphere is still needed for ignition and oxidation, but mixtures or gaseous alloys, eh? ha, might even have other useful properties. Some combination might even be easier to handle/store.
Gadgeteer
You guys suggesting don't get it. The FAA specifically forbids the use of hydrogen as a lifting gas in any airship that carries passengers (including crew members). And I wouldn't worry about the "waste" of helium. Airships aren't a major user of helium. One Zeppelin NT uses about 290,000 cubic feet of helium, a fraction of the two billion cubic feet or so produced every year, and they don't vent the helium and deflate the airship after flights.
Slowburn
re; Racqia Dvorak The cost of extracting helium from the atmosphere while higher than extracting it from unpurified natural gas it is not so high as to prohibit filling toy balloons with it.
BigGoofyGuy
I think that is way cool. I am hoping that one day it will lead to a rigid airship and there would be cruise airships like the Hindenberg. It was originally designed to use helium. I think the joke about 'NT...whats next..XP or Vista?'. I think it is funny.