Airships come in two general types: rigid and non-rigid envelopes. Besides moving people and giving an aerial view of things, neither type has terribly good range and cannot haul cargoes that weigh all that much.

Rigid AirshipsAirship 2

While much more expensive rigid airships are the preferred type. They have very large rigid frame envelopes in which to store lighter gases such as Helium and Hydrogen in specially designed bladders attached to a frame of expensive sturdy but light woods. Below this sits a small sailing ship body similiar to a Cutter in design. For propulsion they either use sails like water born ships with masses of rigging or man-powered propellers.

Non-Rigid AirshipsAirship

Non-rigid airships have a single large bladder that is filled with Hydrogen or Helium and is held to the rest of the vessel by tethers. Below the bladder is a small sailing vessel hull like a sloop or cutter, typically with a single mast left intact and clear of the tethers to give it propulsion. Amid the tethers the secondary mast is typically a lockout tower, though it’s more often used to make sure the tethers are holding then look around. It’s cheaper because it takes less wood to make, can use no longer functional sailing ship hulls, and the wood it does use can be less expensive.


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