Photos: Return of the zeppelin

Photos: Return of the zeppelin

Summary: From hundreds of feet in the air, a zeppelin can scan a landscape for hints of diamond deposits.

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TOPICS: Telcos
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  • Zeppelin in flight

    The De Beers Zeppelin-NT in flight near Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa. The airship typically takes off at sunset and flies for six or seven hours a night, when there is less turbulence. It can cover as many as 300 kilometers (about 186 miles) in a day, compared with 5 kilometers (just over 3 miles) for a ground crew, according to a survey team member.

  • Zeppelin framework

    The De Beers aircraft is Zeppelin NT-07. The New Technology Zeppelin, which had its maiden flight in 1997, has framework that weighs about a ton. The cabin, engines and other main airship components all connect to the rigid structure, which has triangular carbon fiber frames and three aluminum longerons.

  • Envelope

    The envelope of the NT airship, made of many layers of laminated fabric, holds helium gas.

Topic: Telcos

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