February 29, 2020 — Dirigibles ruled the skies once. Can they make a comeback? You might think that the tragic end of the Hindenburg disaster in 1937 marked a clear end to the airship era. The famous footage of the German airship plunging in flames became the overwhelming image of a seemingly doomed technology.
You would be wrong.
For decades, the Goodyear fleet of blimps have been the only working airships most people had a chance of seeing in real life. But a handful of companies are looking to bring back the spectacular dirigibles.
The government of Quebec will be pitching 30 million Canadian dollars (23 million in U.S. dollars) to Flying Whales, a French company, to start building its massive zeppelins. The company has only been around since 2012, and it hasn’t gotten any of its airships off the ground—yet. The plan has been derided by opposition parties, not as a flying whale but as a white elephant.