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Airships: An idea whose time has come?

The Hindenburg disaster didn't completely kill interest in airships. Although large and slow, airships can carry large amounts of cargo when time isn't of the essence. Think of it as a manatee of the sky.

"A lot of airship designs are coming out of Europe," said Katherine Perfetti, national resource specialist with the Federal Aviation Administration, at Flight School, a conference sponsored by CNET Networks earlier this week. (CNET Networks publishes The U.S. military is also tinkering with airship designs.

"If you've read 'Popular Mechanics,' you'd know that airships have been just around the corner for the last twenty years," quipped semiconductor bon vivant Peter Glaskowsky.