Saturday, October 29, 2005

Back To The Future: Blimps?

Know anyone who thinks blimps would be a worthwhile addition to U.S. defenses against terrorists? In early June, Vigilis posted this:
Modernized blimps would probably do a fine job denying access to homeland littorals at costs the Pentagon could digest cheaply. Crew size is minimal and Al-Zarqawi's stash of heat seekers would not work well at much distance. Now, who wishes to scoff that our modern Navy would ever consider such folly?

Today, 5 months later, the Sub Report carries this rather uncanny revelation from Pravda:
USA develops gigantic airships to spy on Chinese and Iranian submarines- The Pentagon has evinced great interest in the erstwhile popular technology

The Walrus dirigible will have a classic shape, according to early concepts. The cross-section will look be an isosceles triangle with rounded corners. In modern usage, the terms zeppelin, dirigible and airship are interchangeable for rigid airships, while Blimp is an informal term typically applied to non-rigid airships.

Who cares? Unless bureaucracy takes over from DARPA, taxpayers may get economical bang for their buck. You will need to know if this program will be USN or AF supervised. Whoever gets this will likely get the starship Kennedy (NAFTA-11).


At 30 October, 2005 22:15, Blogger Chap said...

What killed airships last time in the Navy around 1993 was the P-3 lobby.

Makes a hell of a lot more sense to have airships than to have things that need fuel to stay aloft.

The guy running this company has some ideas. So does this Canadian company (check out their high altitude versions), and some others have unmanned ideas including submarine launched ones.

It is entirely too hard to find airship pilot training, by the way. If I win the lottery one of my toys will be something like the Canadian airship or one of these.

At 31 October, 2005 15:05, Blogger Vigilis said...

Chap, thanks for the visit and your interesting links. -Vigilis

At 01 November, 2005 19:05, Blogger Chap said...

Any time. Good post, btw.

Now where can I get a blimp pilot's license outside of Connecticut? I know of a two week ballooning program for a balloon pilot's license in New Mexico, bit airships are a little more rare...

At 04 November, 2005 14:21, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite often it is not hi-tech which ends up being superior. The Viet-Cong shot aluminum foil at our ground terrain jets in the 60's. Twenty cents worth of foil, and pennies worth of explosives to bring down a multi-million dollar jet. Why not a blimp?


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