How did you travel on your last vacation? Probably via car or airplane. Are you ready for another way to travel? Then perhaps it’s time to consider blimps. We’re used to seeing blimps in the air as floating billboards used to advertise brands (Ex: Goodyear Blimp). But, blimps – also known as airships – have more utility than just advertising. Several companies are now exploring the use of airships for passenger travel and other uses.
Marketing passenger travel by airship will be tricky though. Airships have a negative stigma attached, and have not been used for passenger travel since 1937 after 36 people died when the Hindenburg airship burst into flames shortly before landing. It was a horrific event that still lives on in memory.
Today’s airships promise to be quite different though. They have the ability to fly for days using helium to stay aloft and can takeoff and land without a runway. Airships are also more environmentally sustainable with fewer carbon emissions than airplanes, plus the interiors are spacious and quiet.
Several companies are exploring new technologies and use of airships. One of those, OceanSky Cruises, compares the travel to that of a cruise ship, but must faster. The airship is 320-feet long with guest cabins, restaurant, and bar. Since it flies at lower altitudes than airplanes, it boasts floor-to-ceiling windows for viewing the landscape. A North Pole voyage is planned for 2024 – at a price tag of $232,845 for a two-person cabin!
How would you like to travel by airship?
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Start by discussing current ways to travel. What are negatives and positives of each mode?
- View OceanSky’s website: https://www.oceanskycruises.com/
- A video of the new airship can be seen at: https://youtu.be/QuM-gFJRhlY
- If students are not familiar with the Hindenburg disaster, show a video of the event: https://youtu.be/A7Ly1Oh-xvs
- Divide students into teams: Have each team identify the constraints that might keep people from using airships.
- What adjustments are needed in marketing airship travel versus airplane travel?
- Have each team develop a marketing campaign for the new flights.
Source: New York Times