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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ But I had a feeling that there were still some interesting uses for airships if I incorporated modern technology and materials.
▪ Glamour aloft was also provided by the great airships Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg.
▪ I could see a silver helium airship over the city centre.
▪ Later Binding was involved with the rigid airships R23 and R31.
▪ She slipped off the coronet, and let the airship go dead.
▪ The great airship Graf Zeppelin cruises away from her moorings.
▪ Thirty-three died, as apparently did passenger airships.
▪ You've made your reputation building airships.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

airship \airship\ n. 1. 1 a steerable self-propelled light-than-air aircraft.

Syn: dirigible

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

also air-ship, 1888, translating German Luftschiff "motor-driver dirigible;" see air (n.1) + ship (n.).


n. 1 A lighter-than-air aircraft that can be propelled forward through the air as well as steered. 2 (context informal English) Any aircraft.


n. a steerable self-propelled airship [syn: dirigible]


An airship or dirigible is a type of aerostat or lighter-than-air aircraft that can navigate through the air under its own power. Aerostats gain their lift from large gas bags filled with a lifting gas that is less dense than the surrounding air.

In early dirigibles, the lifting gas used was hydrogen, due to its high lifting capacity and ready availability. Helium gas has almost the same lifting capacity and is not flammable, unlike hydrogen, but is rare and relatively expensive. Significant amounts were first discovered in the United States and for a while helium was only used for airships by the United States. Most airships built since the 1960s have used helium, though some have used hot air.

The envelope of an airship may form a single gas bag, or may contain a number of internal gas-filled cells. An airship also has engines, crew, and optionally also payload accommodation, typically housed in one or more "gondolas" suspended below the envelope.

The main types of airship are non-rigid, semi-rigid, and rigid. Non-rigid airships, often called "blimps", rely on internal pressure to maintain the shape of the airship. Semi-rigid airships maintain the envelope shape by internal pressure, but have some form of supporting structure, such as a fixed keel, attached to it. Rigid airships have an outer structural framework which maintains the shape and carries all structural loads, while the lifting gas is contained in one or more internal gas bags or cells. Rigid airships were first flown by Count Zeppelin and the vast majority of rigid airships built were manufactured by the firm he founded. As a result, all rigid airships are sometimes called zeppelins.

Airships were the first aircraft capable of controlled powered flight, and were most commonly used before the 1940s, but their use decreased over time as their capabilities were surpassed by those of aeroplanes. Their decline was accelerated by a series of high-profile accidents, including the 1930 crash and burning of British R101 in France, the 1933 and 1935 storm-related crashes of the twin airborne aircraft carrier U.S. Navy helium-filled rigids, the and USS Macon respectively, and the 1937 burning of the hydrogen-filled Hindenburg. From the 1960s, helium airships have been used in applications where the ability to hover in one place for an extended period outweighs the need for speed and manoeuvrability such as advertising, tourism, camera platforms, geological surveys, and aerial observation.

Airship (disambiguation)

An airship or dirigible is an aerostat (lighter than air aircraft) that can be steered and propelled through the air using propellers, rudders, or other thrust mechanisms.

The Airship or variants may refer to:

Airship (band)

Airship is a British indie rock band, which in 2004 in Manchester was founded with the name of Astroboy. The band consists of singer-guitarist Elliott Williams, guitarist Steven Griffiths, bassist Tom Dyball and guitarist Mark Wheeldon. After they had encountered a period called Rowley, they decided to change their name again to make a fresh start. The music of Airship is often compared to that of Snow Patrol, Editors and White Lies .

Airship issued two EPs, Algebra (2010) and Kids (2011). The release of their debut album, Stuck in This Ocean, is scheduled for 5 September 2011.

Airship (ballad)

«Airship. From Zedlitz» («On the blue waves of the ocean ... ») is a ballad from the Napoleonic cycle Lermontov's poems, written and published in 1840. It is a free translation from the German language Austrian romantic writings of Joseph Christian Freiherr von Zedlitz, titled Das Geisterschiff ("ghost ship", 1832). The individual fragments Russian poem was influenced by another ballad of the same Austrian author - "Night parade" (Die nächtliche Heerschau; 1827), published in Russian in 1836 in translation by Zhukovsky.

Usage examples of "airship".

He had, in fact, crossed the designs of no less a power than the German Empire, he had blundered into the hot focus of Welt-Politik, he was drifting helplessly towards the great Imperial secret, the immense aeronautic park that had been established at a headlong pace in Franconia to develop silently, swiftly, and on an immense scale the great discoveries of Hunstedt and Stossel, and so to give Germany before all other nations a fleet of airships, the air power and the Empire of the world.

British, nervous for their Asiatic empire, and sensible of the immense moral effect of the airship upon half-educated populations, had placed their aeronautic parks in North India, and were able to play but a subordinate part in the European conflict.

Palimak and his party had left the warrens of the Idol of Asper and were now carrying a strange burden to the airship.

Across from him, hovering over the little island that was home to the Idol of Asper, was the airship.

March Brume under cover of darkness and early morning mist, dropped him close to where he had left Hunter Predd, and then taken the airship in search of a crew.

Acknowledgments With appreciation and gratitude to Scott Danneker, Mikejntzpatrick, Mike Hance, and George Spyrou of Airship Management Services, for sharing the wondrous world of Airship flight.

German airships were held together by rib-like skeletons of steel and aluminium and a stout inelastic canvas outer-skin, within which was an impervious rubber gas-bag, cut up by transverse dissepiments into from fifty to a hundred compartments.

Again one of the sprites climbed to the altitude of the airship, loitering for a few moments on fanning wings before whipping off to rejoin the others.

Zere our airships will gazzer and repair, and thence they will fly to and fro ofer ze United States, terrorising cities, dominating Washington, levying what is necessary, until ze terms we dictate are accepted.

A cluster of ships lay anchored at the north end of the cove, sleek and dark against the silvery waters, and by the glint of radian draws and the odd slant of light sheaths furled and waiting for release, Walker recognized them as airships.

To insure a more sudden descent, deflecting rudders were also used, similar to those on an airship.

It was late that night when the Nihilists left the airship, first having made a careful inspection to see that they were not spied upon.

The balloonist, it may be explained, had been invited to live with the Swifts pending the completion of the airship.

Sharp relieved Tom at the wheel, while the young inventor ate, and then, with the airship heading southwest, the speed was increased a trifle, the balloonist desiring to see what the motor could accomplish under a heavy load.

The airship dropped lower and lower until the altimeter - an unreliable device worked by barometric pressure - warned them they were as low as they dared go in darkness.