The Defense Industry Daily

I've been idling away some moments before a law class and have discovered this little gem from the American Defense Industry Daily. It's a news sheet for the various pentagon contractors and planners.

Anyway, the reader of this blog, whoever he or she is, will know of my taste for airships. They are elegant, effective, renewable and almost harmless. Except in the hands of armies, obviously. You could do somebody damage with an army.

The US Department of Defense had a programme called 'Walrus' to replace ageing expensive aeroplanes with heavy-lift hybrid airships that could have moved troops or equipment anywhere in the world within seven days. They would have needed very little fuel, have flown at 8000 feet, and travelled at 174 miles per hour. The late and unlamented Republican Congress killed the policy stone dead, the heavy implication being that Pentagon contractors who wanted a highly expensive refit of existing planes weren't happy.

Still, attempts to re-introduce airships to the skies are ongoing. Next year, the Aeros corporation will launch a prototype of its cruise-ship effort, which is not only beautiful but peaceful.

Imagine the benefits of cheap, clean air freighters and cruise ships like these. The age of oil is ending. We could scrap over fuelling aviation whilst poisoning the seas, or we could become imaginative and put these elegant things into our skies again. Roll on 2008!

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