An Airship is a lighter then air craft that is streamlined and possesses engines. It has more control over its position then a balloon, which is at the mercy of the currents.
History of Airships
The 1930s was a golden age of airships. Rigid airships were common. However, the Hindenburg disaster meant that airships fell out of favor. Non-rigid airships, called blimps, which were inflated with helium instead of flammable hydrogen found a niche in advertising, survaillence and sightseeing trips. Plans have come and gone for large airships to rival the Hindenburg, but these plans have lost funding and have never materialized.
Airships on Mars
An airship is ideal for transport on Mars. Advantages include:
- Hydrogen is a more effective lifting gas in the CO2 rich martian atmosphere
- Hydrogen is not flammable in the Martian atmosphere