Airships in history and fiction capture our imaginations. Could they have a real-world role to play?
There's something almost romantic about airships--from zeppelins to dirigibles to little Goodyear Blimps. The image of a giant, floating aircraft feels both nostalgic and futuristic. In the early 20th century, airships were on the leading edge of aviation; today, they mostly live on in the domain of steampunk art and speculative fiction.
But a number of companies are betting they can bring airships out of the history books and into modern real-world applications like cargo transport and military uses.
This hour, we talk with speculative fiction author Ken Liu, as well as a journalist and the leader of a modern hybrid airship company about airships, real and imagined.
- Ken Liu - Speculative fiction author and futurist, the author of the Dandelion Dynasty, an epic fantasy featuring airships
- Jeanne Marie Laskas - Journalist; she wrote a piece for The New Yorker in 2016 on modern airships
- Nick Allman - Chief Operating Officer of Hybrid Air Vehicles
Colin McEnroe, Jonathan McNicol, and Cat Pastor contributed to this show.