Blimp Trip…Soon?

Needless to say the whole passenger liner blimp
thing took a bit of a nosedive when the Hindenburg
exploded on a New Jersey airfield some 70 years ago. But call me crazy, I think that a blimp ride would be amazingly
cool. I know I’m not alone, so why hasn’t anyone produced another passenger blimp? Is it scientific? That hydrogen can
no longer be used and helium is not lifty enough to support lots of passengers? I’ll have to wiki that and see what’s

In the meantime, though, perhaps the idea has some potential after all. Check out the Aeroscraft, what some
folks are calling a kind of flying Queen Mary 2. The flying boat comes from the fertile frontal lobes of Igor
Pasternak, whose privately-funded California firm, Worldwide Aeros Corporation, says they are developing a prototype
and expects to have one completed by 2010.

One thing: this is not, so they say, a blimp. Not technically
anyway. The Aeroscraft heavier than air, even though it holds some 14 million cubic feet of helium. But all those cubic
feet lift just 2/3 of the ship’s weight. The rest, you see is lifted by several huge rear propellers and jets that
push the ship up or ease its descent. According to this piece on the…well, come on, I mean, let’s just call
it a blimp…the blimp will have a top speed of 174 mph and could traverse the continental U.S. in about 18 hours.
How cool is that? Could you imagine what an amazing trip that would be? I swear I wouldn’t sleep a wink. But even
if you wanted to sleep you could apparently do so in some luxury, as the ship will have luxury staterooms, restaurants,
even a casino.

File this under way cool.