A new article by Air & Space Magazine hints at a return to airships, with a focus on their potential use for heavy lifting in military and commercial applications, as well as a use as a spy platform. That’s the idea, anyway. It remains to be seen if the necessary advances in technology will make these behemoths economically viable. One interesting feature would be that they might not come back in the familiar cigar shape – evidently a sphere is better for balancing out the helium. Another cool thing would be hover pads that could push or pull on the surface, either to keep the airship above the ground/ice/sea, or hold it down while cargo is being offloaded so it doesn’t shoot up into the air like a, well, balloon.
(via SciTechDaily) (image from article)