A Brief History of
The airship represents the first aircraft with controlled powered flight capabilities, and is considered the first successful commercial air transportation vehicles.
Since the 1800s, many attempts were made to develop air borne vessels with propulsion with varying results, before the first fully controllable airship flight was made in 1884 – almost 20 years prior to the Wright Brothers’ inauguration of the first powered airplane flight, ushering in the age of fixed-wing aviation.
With their relative quietness, use of inert gases, and lower fuel consumption than fixed wing aircraft and helicopters, airships can be recognised as one of the oldest human attempts to produce green flying transportation.
Despite the interest and development of fixed-wing aircraft, the airship was used extensively up until the 1940s, particularly for intercontinental travel aristocrats and nobles, who used the luxurious transport in Europe and the US, and later for military purposes in the World Wars. With the rapid development and manufacturing of airplanes during and post World War II, enabling speed, capacity and affordability for many, airships became a rarer site in the skies.
Modern day airships have diversified into a number of roles. From scientific exploration and military reconnaissance, to tourism and highly visual advertising purposes, contemporary airship technology has an important place in our skies, and is recently enjoying renewed interest in applying the technology to cargo and a new generation of luxury passenger travel.