I watched The Airships few days ago, an ABC documentary about the history of one of the most amusing flying machines. In a time when airplanes weren’t as reliable as they are today (especially for civil flights) these monsters reigned the sky without any competition. They were surreal objects, extremely expensive to produce, slow moving, and enchantingly enormous. I don’t know why I always associated them with fairy tales. As s a child, I was fascinated with airplanes as well but I associated them more with technology. Airships, on the other hand, were a symbol of adventure. Needless to say, the airplanes won the battle, nothing can stand in the way of practicality for a long time. There were other factors as well but the most important one was the airships were far more expensive to produce and to maintain.
A relic of the great Art Deco age, today they are used only for scientific needs or as flying advertisement donkeys. But they still posses that magic for me, symbolizing the dream to fly not as a speed race but as an endeavour of the mind. And the heart. As one person describes it in the documentary series:
…you just lean on the edge and it all unfolds in front of you. You can smell the air, you can feel the air, and you get a view of the countryside which is supreme.
Now how can I get on one of those things? Or should I just keep it as a dream. Dreams are always larger than life, aren’t they?