Photos: Airships on the fly

Photos: Airships on the fly

Summary: A sky telescope, extrawide-screen floating monitors and wireless tower replacements are some of the new ideas for airships.

TOPICS: Hardware

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  • Stratellite

    Airships are divided into two main categories: rigid airships with rigid frames, i.e. zeppelins, and nonrigid or semirigid airships that maintain their shape by internal pressure. Blimps were named after the sound made after poking a finger into the shell.

    Another airship concept is the "stratellite," which is essentially a cell tower that would float about 65,000 feet, or about 12 miles, above the Earth. The extra height would enable just 12 stratellites to completely cover the United States, according to its developer, GlobeTel Communications.

  • 21st Century Airships

    The company 21st Century Airships claims that its high-altitude airship can stay aloft for a month and will soon be able to stay on flights that could last as long as a year. The company builds its airships in a spherical shape, saying they have less surface area and will leak less, turn quicker and move faster than tradition cigar-shaped models.

  • Wide screen

    Football analyst John Madden may have a fear of flying, but you can see his face broadcast over a 70-by-30-foot LED screen on the side of a blimp. The Lightship Group's A-170 lightship recently received Federal Aviation Administration clearance to fly with the wide screen. Stronger lift power and lighter electronics have made the bigger screens possible.

Topic: Hardware

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