The golden era of the airship wasn’t in the thirties but could be about to happen now. All around the world, teams are racing each other to be the first to deliver a new generation of super-sized airship. We look back in history to understand the context of why airships didn’t work the first time around. We hear from a mining company owner who needs airships to open up new resources around the world and we look at some of the other roles airships would be used for such as humanitarian rescue, surveillance and military use. We explore two futuristic airship concepts, one from Denmark that would carry turbine blades and a floating hotel concept from the UK and meet its designer. But will these ever be made?

We go to Zeppelin in Germany, who after a break of seventy years are making new airships again. We ask what has prompted their new optimism in the industry and we take a ride in one to find out what all the fuss is about.

We explain the science behind why airships haven’t worked before and show rare archive shots of a weird ‘aircraft’ with four helicopters fixed to an airship. We see the pilot lose control and watch as the ship explodes killing the pilot.

We see another crazy looking giant airship that rotated in the sky as the pilot dangled by ropes and lifted large loads. With rare archive of the machine flying we hear from an expert about how it worked but why it never went into production.

We hear why modern engineers feel they’ve solved the classic problems and visit an old airfield in France were one designer is about to start building giant all metal airships to carry cargo with a brand new, ingenious technology on board.  Then we go to California where another company has already built a giant cargo carrying airship that looks like a silver submarine. The hangar sadly collapsed on that airship just after first take off, putting a dramatic end to that dream. Back in France a small team are experimenting with large man-carrying airship prototypes as they develop a giant, self-flying container carrying airship called the NATAC. Back in the States we go inside the top-secret Skunk works where Lockheed Martin are developing a massive cargo carrier, the prototype of which has already flown. We go inside its giant envelope and find out what makes this special and explore their full-scale cockpit and passenger gondola mock-up. And then we visit the famous, giant, Airlander 10 hybrid airship in the UK, hear how this aircraft came about, how it’s currently the only flying airship (with exclusive pictures) and then see (again with exclusive unseen pictures) the infamous crash which made headlines all around the world. The team explain (for the first time on camera) what went wrong. Independent experts give their opinion!

We explore other current challenges that traditionally face airships: weather, helium shortage and money. Then we visit a new company that has just bought twelve of new Lockheed airships, proving that the new era IS finally here. Despite the rivalry the teams admit that success for one will be success for them all.

Several experts explain how they think these new airships are world changing and a disruptive technology.

For the synopsis for the 2 x 45′


The Dream Awakens
The golden era of the airship wasn’t in the thirties but could be about to happen now. All around the world, teams are racing each other to be the first to deliver a new generation of super-sized airship. We look back in history to understand the context of why airships didn’t work the first time around. We find out how there were other secret plans for a giant flying aircraft carrier airship and even nuclear powered behemoths from both America and Russia (all visualised with unique 3d animation).

We hear from a mining company owner who needs airships to open up new resources around the world and we look at some of the other roles airships would be used for such as humanitarian rescue, surveillance and military use.

We explore several futuristic airship concepts, one from Denmark that would carry turbine blades, a giant KLM passenger ship, several steam-punk airship concepts, a Canadian cargo carrier and a vast and completely improbable floating hotel concept from Samsung that went viral all around the world. We also meet a UK designer who also created a massive floating hotel/passenger liner concept. But will these ever be made? Experts talk about the power of dreams over reality when airships are involved.

If airships are coming back, no one would know better than Goodyear, historically the largest airship company ever. We go to their facility in Ohio and explore their history and why airships are so captivating with the public. They laugh and explain that airships never went away. In their hangar, a new shiny airship sits, a brand-new Zeppelin – just built. We go to Zeppelin in Germany, who after a break of seventy years are making new airships again. We ask what has prompted their new optimism in the industry and we take a ride in one to find out what all the fuss is about.

We explain the science behind why airships haven’t worked before and show rare archive shots of a weird ‘aircraft’ with four helicopters fixed to an airship. We see the pilot lose control and watch as the ship explodes killing the pilot.

We see another crazy looking giant airship that rotated in the sky as the pilot dangled by ropes and lifted large loads. With rare archive of the machine flying we hear from an expert how it worked but why it never went into production.

We hear why modern engineers feel they’ve solved the problems and visit an old airfield in France were one designer is about to start building giant all metal airships to carry cargo with a brand new, ingenious technology on board. But he isn’t alone and a handful of other teams all around the world are working on new projects (the “coming up in episode two” sequence).

The Phoenix Rises
We set up why airships are about to make a return with new desperately needed roles that only airships can do.

Then we go to California where a company has already built a giant cargo carrying airship that looks like a silver submarine. We hear about their unique technology and why their airship is the best out there. The hangar sadly collapsed on that airship just after first take off, putting a dramatic end to that dream.

Over in Russia plans are emerging to use a new Putin backed Russian cargo carrying airship to open up Siberia. It’s just a computer animation and we explore why some think these concepts won’t ever work.

Back in France we visit a much more viable proposition. Here, a small team are experimenting with numerous large man-carrying airship prototypes. We hear about their passion and beliefs as they develop a giant, self-flying container carrying airship called the NATAC.

Back in the States we go inside the top-secret Skunk works where Lockheed Martin are developing a massive cargo carrier, the prototype of which has already flown. We go inside its giant envelope and see and hear about the incredible first flight. We find out what makes this special and explore their full-scale cockpit and passenger gondola mock-up.

And then we visit the famous, giant, Airlander 10 hybrid airship in the UK, hear how this aircraft came about, stealing a valuable military contract from Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin respond to this. We hear about the unique technology of the Airlander and how it’s currently the only flying full-sized, hybrid airship (with exclusive pictures) and then see (again with exclusive unseen pictures) the infamous crash which made headlines all around the world. The team explain (for the first time on camera) what went wrong. Independent experts give their opinion!

Like the infamous sixties space race, the sense of competition and rivalry between the teams is palpable. We cut between them as they all slag each other off and argue why their airships are better.

We explore other current challenges that traditionally face airships: weather, helium shortage and money. Then we visit a new company that has just bought twelve of new Lockheed airships, proving that the new era IS finally here. Despite the rivalry the teams admit that success for one will be success for them all.

Several experts explain how they think these new airships are world changing and a disruptive technology.

 

A Dean Media Ltd Production

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