|Bloggage, rants, and occasional notes of despair|
The Pentagon is apparently contemplating the return of the lighter-than-air airship as part of its mix of intelligence options.
Will it work? Don't be silly; nothing works, exactly the way that we wanted it to, the first time that we ever try. As one of my comp sci profs used to say, if your program compiles and run the first time, it was too trivial to have been written in the first place. What will be interesting is what misconceptions will be disspelled by this attempt; although the Navy didn't shut down its LTA program until 1962, airship development was pretty much halted by a series of disasters in the 1930s (including the Hindenberg, although it should emphasized that it was about a fifth cousin to this proposal) and then swept aside by World War II. Essentially, no one not living has any actual experience with developing them.
Our good fiends...ahh, friends...the Federation of American Scientists, has a take on the current generation of LTA craft ("aerostats") used by the government. Their assessment is not sanguine, although it should be noted that perfection is not good enough for them when it comes to an effort that they oppose...that is, anything done by DoD.
John "Akatsukami" Braue Tuesday, September 30, 2003