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@InvaderXan So, Zeppelins are impressive, but have numerous challenges.

Hydrogen, simply put, is exceedingly dangerous.

Airships handle very poorly in even modestly high winds. Several losses occurred in storms.

Profitable operation, *even under military deployments*, where cost concerns are reduced, has proved elusive.

Storage and mooring costs are high -- wth great volume comes ... voluminous hangers. (See Moffit Field, near Mountain View, CA.)

Interesting, but unlikely.

@dredmorbius @InvaderXan I hear all your - undoubtedly factually correct - points about Zeppelins, but we should still have Zeppelins hanging in the sky as a reminder that people can do ridiculously unlikely things that sometimes actually work. :)

Also, I would be up to a luxurious oceanic voyage of a week as an alternative to spending a day in a aluminum tube being shot through the stratosphere.

@tsturm You can take that transatlantic voyage by seaship far more viably.

@dredmorbius
I'm fairly certain aeroplanes were once subject to all of these same criticisms, quite frankly...

@InvaderXan Aeroplanes proved themselves, and quickly.

First flight was 1903, commercial service began in 1909, and in just over 30 years, an aircraft *still in commercial use today*, the DC-3, had been developed.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_

Airships remain a challenge 116 years later. Some problems are hard.

Appeal to alternatives doesn't solve hard problems.

@dredmorbius
The main reason they remain a challenge is that one of these two technologies has had substantially more development, in both civilian and military contexts, frequently with the aim of maximising profitability.

You would be wise not to conflate hard problems with under-explored problems.

@dredmorbius @InvaderXan ...and more seriously, in the very long run, we might have to use airships for transoceanic voyages since we can't afford to pump half a ton of kerosene into the atmosphere per butt in a seat for every crossing.

Airships might be slower, but still are faster than ships and can be powered completely by solar, from hydrogen production to propulsion.

@tsturm By tonne-km, shipping is vastly more efficient, and by tonne-km/hr, effectively faster.

We can move seaships at airship speeds (120-240 kph), but it's not worthwhile. Ride tends to be a tad rough as well.

@InvaderXan

@dredmorbius @InvaderXan For freight, ships will be better, no matter what. But for personal travel, airships can do an ocean crossing at about half the time of a seaship and we can do it fully solar.

@dredmorbius @InvaderXan Once we kick kerosene turbines to the curb, nothing will ever be as reliable and fast to cross an ocean. That's a given.

Ships and airships both are much more exposed to wind and weather. Traveling will slow down, no matter how we attempt to do it.

@dredmorbius @InvaderXan I'd frankly take the five days on a sailboat to cross the Atlantic. Sounds delightful. And nowadays with satellite Internet - if you have that kind of job - you can keep on working while you are on the crossing, so you are not even losing vacation time.

@tsturm Conditions on the 5-day schedule are somewhat spartan.

We heartily recommend the fortnighter.

@InvaderXan

@dredmorbius @InvaderXan I should probably add that I've some experience with slow travel. I've done the Transsiberian and also a Yangtze river boat for the full length nonstop among others.
It's not for everybody for sure, but especially nowadays with Internet everywhere I wouldn't even hesitate to go on a boat for a week.

@dredmorbius @InvaderXan That was quite an amazing ship.

We had the BAP Unión here in town a week ago and I stood in front of it. It's about ten meters shorter than the Preußen, and I can tell you that is one hell of a big ship.

Also, the Unión is only five years old. Ships like that are still being made! :)

@tsturm For a modern take, see the Maltese Falcon

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maltese_

Star Flyer is more traditional.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Fly

Commercial windjammers operated INTO THE 1950s. Very long-haul routes. Fuel costs money.

@InvaderXan

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