Ever since the Hindenburg disaster in 1937, airships have been a largely abandoned technology, their continued existence consigned to being a quick shorthand for alternate universes in science fiction. But now, 75 years later, airships might be ready to return.
To be fair to airships, the Hindenburg blew up because its fuel was flammable hydrogen - something its German operators had to use because the US banned the export of helium to the Nazis - and so it's perhaps not the best representative of the technology's abilities. Then again, the Hindenburg was far from the only airship disaster, and the subsequent rise of faster and more reliable airplanes removed any clear need for airships. Now some entrepreneurs are banking on the fact that the time is right for an airship revival.