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Monday, April 19, 2010

A Question

So how much longer would this volcano have to keep erupting (a year? five years?), for us to get commercial zeppelin travel?

Posted by benrosen at April 19, 2010 11:53 AM | Up to blog

What makes you think zeppelins can fly in that stuff?

Posted by: Joseph Charpak at April 19, 2010 03:49 PM

Because zeppelins are AWESOME, while jet aircraft, which safely carry hundreds of millions of passengers a year at near-supersonic speeds, are not.

Posted by: Evan Goer at April 19, 2010 06:21 PM

Hmm, all aircraft are pretty awesome, but nothing is as crazy mad awesome as Zeppelins. And hey, if even the motors on Zeppelins get clogged in this ashmageddon, we'll just install rowing monkeys.

Hmmm... rowing monkeys.

Posted by: Blinde Schilpad at April 19, 2010 07:56 PM

Forever. Anything a volcano can do to an airplane's engines it can do to a zeppelin's. If it keeps erupting, they'll just fly jets at lower altitudes and burn more fuel.

Posted by: David Moles at April 20, 2010 06:56 AM

Hold on a sec, I'm sort of serious here. A zeppelin is lighter than air -- it can just turn its engines off and drift. Plus they hardly need to be jet engines. A heavier-than-air plane is constrained to go constantly at a very high speed to maintain lift, and its failure modes are severe. A zeppelin can go much slower, so much simpler engines will do. I expect the ash is much worse for jets than for propellers, for instance.

However, the point about lower altitudes is well taken, alas.

Posted by: Benjamin Rosenbaum at April 20, 2010 06:50 PM

The ash is a fairly high altitudes. Jet planes suffer a severe penalty when flying a low altitudes. Propeller planes suffer no penalty. The solution is to bring back propeller planes. they had more bathrooms, anyway.

Posted by: dmrose at April 22, 2010 12:37 AM
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