© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

From zeppelins to dirigibles to the Goodyear Blimp, airships capture our imagination

Europa, Deutschland, Bayern, Oberschleißheim, Zeppelin NT, Luftbild
Westend61/Getty Images/Westend61

There’s something almost romantic about airships. 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, the past and future of airships, both real and imagined.


  • Nick Allman: Chief operating officer of Hybrid Air Vehicles
  • Jeanne Marie Laskas: A journalist and the author of eight books; in 2016 she published “Helium Dreams” in The New Yorker
  • Ken Liu: A futurist and author of speculative fiction, including The Dandelion Dynasty, an epic fantasy series featuring airships

The Colin McEnroe Show is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode!

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Colin McEnroe, Jonathan McNicol, and Cat Pastor contributed to this show, which originally aired November 1, 2021.

Stay Connected
Carmen Baskauf was a producer for Connecticut Public Radio's news-talk show Where We Live, hosted by Lucy Nalpathanchil from 2017-2021. She has also contributed to The Colin McEnroe Show.
Related Content