The scientific tourist #120 — Early Zeps

This week’s image comes to you from the Technisches Museum in Vienna (Wien), Austria:

Early Zeps

As you can guess, this is from the section of the museum dealing with the history of lighter-than-air flight — in particular, showing two early rigid airships (a.k.a., Zeppelins).

Along with a wealth of history, airships also bring into play a wealth of nomenclature. Strictly speaking, an airship or dirigible is a steerable lighter than air craft (as opposed to a balloon which can’t be steered). But in general use, the word blimp is used for non-rigid airships, while dirigible and Zeppelin (a genericised trademark that originally referred to airships manufactured by the Zeppelin company) are used for rigid airships. Of course, the flow of history is further confusing things, as the modern Zeppelin company is now producing semi-rigid airships.

But regardless of which flavor of airship you’re interested in, you’ll find a model of it at the Technisches Museum.

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