Aircraft Design: Goliath with a Nuke

Dirigibles still evoke vivid memories of disaster—the stunning tragedies of the 1930s that destroyed Germany's Hindenburg, Britain's R-101, and America's Akron and Macon, and caused great loss of life.

Despite that ghastly record, dirigibles may yet stage a comeback. With modern technology, says Boston University Aeronautical Engineer Francis Morse, they can be made as sturdy and safe as airplanes. Writing in Britain's New Scientist, Morse proposes a nuclear-powered, helium-buoyed craft that would not only restore public confidence in the dirigible but would also compete economically in the jet age.

Ocean-Liner Luxury. The...

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