PHILIPPE PSAILA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PSAILA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Zeppelin NT, a modern airship, being constructed in its hangar. The airship is made from a multi- layer laminate fabric called tedlar, which is stretched over a carbon fibre and aluminium frame. It is then inflated with helium. At 75 metres in length the airship is smaller than the original Zeppelins. With a full payload it has negative buoyancy and so has to rely upon lift gained from the engines, which can power it to speeds of up to 125 kilometres per hour. The first prototype airship was launched in 1997 and since 2001 they have been used to give flights for tourists and as observation platforms for television crews at major events.
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