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Bring Back the Lighter-Than-Air Ship

Contemporary materials and technology can easily overcome some of the problems previously suffered by blimps.  Aircraft now carry several hundreds of travelers at very high speeds.  That’s fine, if one is in a hurry.  But what if one wishes to enjoy a leisurely cruise with wondrous sights to see?

To travel more slowly than a passenger jet, one might take a cruise on a ocean-going ship, or a cross-country train.  The problems with air travel are that there is little to enjoy and less to see, traveling at 400 miles an hour up above thirty thousand feet.  A train journey is more comfortable and offers more freedom of movement, but the views out the windows are limited.  Tracks are often along barren areas of terrain with nothing but forest up to the edge of the track bed.  When there are things of interest to view out the windows, they still zip past quite quickly, and if the same route is traveled regularly, the same scenes are viewed each time along the tracks.

On a luxury liner, all one gets to see is ocean, thousands of miles of it, to the horizon in every direction.

Imagine a voyage on a giant airship.  The gondola hanging beneath the belly of the behemoth is spacious, and equipped with objects and furnishings of fine quality.  Luxury is in the Irish linen tablecloths, the comfortable groupings of stylish furniture, the splendid washrooms, open bar, and superb food services.  The true wonder of this form of travel is the views.

You cruise along slowly, perhaps just 50 feet above the African veld.  Close enough to almost hear and smell them, thousands of Wildebeest thunder through the scrub grass.  Elsewhere, we observe a pride of lions in the tall grass.  A pair of males with flowing manes gorge themselves on a Zebra carcass while the females and young hover at a safe distance, awaiting permission to approach and eat from the remains.

Perhaps one could cruise through the Grand Canyon, hundreds of feet below the top, and hundreds of feet below the bottom.  There are hundreds of examples one can imagine, if one could cruise in luxury, either slowly or quickly, with large open windows offering breathtaking views of the Alps, or Rome, perhaps Paris, Manhattan, Los Vegas, the Galapagos, or the Tundra.

It could come to pass.  If investors would forget about space travel and create this upgrade to travel methods, and bring back the lighter-than-air ship, we could be sipping  Dom Perignon over Monaco within a couple of years.

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