Air Transportation: October 14, 2002


Zeppelins may yet fly again. The Missile Defense Agency wants a concept demonstrator that could fly at 70,000 feet for a month, carrying sensors to detect cruise missiles and ballistic missiles. The Army still wants Zeppelins to carry tanks to far-away wars at 250 miles per hour without worrying about oceans, canals, and landing to refuel. If the MDA comes up with enough money to get an airship flying, the technology could migrate into the other mission. Attempts to build commercial freight-hauling Zeppelins foundered, and those would have been the best hope for the Army's dream of fast-deploying heavy armor.--Stephen V Cole


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