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I find this one of the most charming and interesting details of IB. But something that immediately occurs to me is--how fast can a small airship be? One designed to carry only one or maybe two persons? Plus (presumably) a bomb? Because a small airship has great potential in terms of what *here* is called Stealth.

Likewise, it seems clear that really high-flying military airships would be ideal intelligence gathering platforms. One wonders if Gary Powers' U2 was a dirigible rather than an airplane...? And with North America being the primary if not sole source of helium (which I've read somewhere) that would easily mean the potential for really vast wealth not only in NAL but Alta California, Montrei, Tejas, Louisianne, etc. Zahir 09:56, 27 Sep 2005 (PDT)

Between AC, Tejas and Louisianne, I think that potential wealth has been quickly and horrendously squandered.... BoArthur
I've always liked this aspect of IB too! I think I mentioned on Conculture long ago that I'd once had a dream of Kemrese and Imperial German airships having it on in circa GWII. Exciting stuff. Somehwat reminiscent of scenes from the mùch later moving picture Sky Captain (which by the way, I've just seen -- vèry cool!), though I don't think those huge air platforms are realistic.
Of course, this is kind of a terror incognita of IB technology. Airships *here* lag FAR behind those of IB, since the technology *here* was abandoned for so long. They are on the come-back, but it is very hard to know what would be actually workable. It's been established that airships are capable of high speed, in excess of 100mph even. Not as fast as the fastest jets (Dalmation for "explodes on ignition") of course, but I'm sure they've got stealth ships. Combined with speed, they offer the modern air force options that no class of aeroplane can match or even approach.
The Gary Powers incident would almost certainly nòt have happened in IB. But I agree -- I have no doubt that dirigibles have and will continue to serve the intelligence community. Immagine a platform where one crew can man the cameras and another process the long strips of film. Upon return to home base, the intelligence staff would have instant access to the pictures.
Agreed that the helium wealth of the listed countries was wasted. Banananana Republics the lot of em! I would suspect that most major governments have atmospheric distillers. [PB]

Cold War

I see you've got an A-2 spyship being lost over Russia. That's fine. Just note that there was no Cold War between the NAL and SNORist Russia! If there has to be a quasiparallel mission, it would have to be for other reasons than nukesnooping. [PB]

Intelligence gathering existed long before anyone every heard of the atom. Seems to me the north polar regions have three big powers in IB: Scandanavia, Russia and the NAL. Even if their relations are fine (and from what I gather, nobody much liked the SNOR regime), they'd still be spying on each other. The fact that everybody still remembers GW2 and that the Russians weren't always on our side would be enough to justify some spy missions, IMO. Keep in mind that *here* Isreal spied on the US!
I happen to agree with that. What Padraic said it true: there was no cold war like we had it *here*, with one huge superpower at each end of the spectrum. The situation in IB was far more complicated, and definitely less bipolar. There was no USA, and the Western countries weren't exactly a unity. The SNOR regime was pretty much turned into itself and its satellites: it did not really care for the rest of the world. I guess the absence of a cold war is the main reason why there still hasn't been a Man on the Moon in IB.
However, the SNOR regime was indeed not liked by the rest of the world. In the aftermath of GW2 it sought actively after establishing satellite states, and obviously, the fate of these states was not a lucky one; the western countries had all reason to be afraid! They definitely did not trust Russia, nor was there much cooperation; and the SNOR in turn didn't trust the West. Russia's borders were solidly locked off. Indeed, I think you could compare the situation to the relations between the West and Iran *here*. Or somesuch. Not to the extent of an arms race, but relations weren't exactly friendly either.
I also think something along the lines of *here*'s Cuba Crisis could have taken place *there*, too, although obviously not in Cuba. It wasn't a cold war, but at times it probably came close!
--IJzeren Jan 05:36, 28 Sep 2005 (PDT)
I reworked the description of the A-2 Incident specifically to make it a case that the NAL was spying in general and that the Russians happened to be the first to shoot one of these things down. This seems especially logical to me in the decade or two following GW2. But I had no intention of introducing anything similar to Cuban Missile Crisis. Zahir 07:10, 28 Sep 2005 (PDT)

Airship Types

In Talk:Lufthansa I suggested we have airship types rather than brands, similar to the way sailing ships are classified *here*. For instance, there could be 250 ton airschooners, 700 ton airbrigs, 1500 ton airfrigates and what have you. Brand names like Boeing and Airbus are not so important. So far only Dan has approved. What does everybody else think? Boreanesia 02:00, 28 Sep 2005 (PDT)

I don't object, but I'd like to keep Wenedyk Hindenburg intact! :) --IJzeren Jan 05:40, 28 Sep 2005 (PDT)
I like the idea of airship types. Zahir 06:58, 28 Sep 2005 (PDT)
Well, obviously "Boeing" "Hindenburg" and similar are airship manufacturers that build various types of airschooners, etc. There are also probably numeric designations (like the Boeing C-404 airfrigate). [PB]

No Longer Aerial Battleships?

*cough* Louisianne uses them as Aerial Aircraft Carriers ... I thought that was somewhat still common practice in IB. BoArthur 12:49, 18 December 2006 (PST)

I don't see why not. They showed their effectiveness in the GWII. Seth 01:10 19 Dec. 2006
I think what is meant is the old fashioned airship battle where several ships would come alongside each other and fire away. Like ancient naval battles, only in the sky. Very impressive, but now outmoded. If LA fancies sending its airships into such close quarter combat, I am sure they would be most welcome! But LA has some might strange ideas, and this is hardly the strangest! Most countries prefer to keep their investments afloat!
So, no launch platform, then? Elemtilas 17:15, 18 December 2006 (PST)
I think it could be _very_ interesting if they did strafe each other like Ships of the Line! That would be _cool_! I agree it's outmoded and doesn't fit modern warfare, but my it is "gallant" as the idiots of the 17th and 18th centuries would say.
It's a wonder to behold, and no mistake! I had a dream once that I was, I think, an officer on the gun deck of an FK airship. Not sure if it was GWI or GWII. There were some aeroplanes, but mostly, it was Federated v. Imperial airships.
I understand from my contacts in the LA military that the Aircraft Carriers are used just as those *here*, that they are used to bring the fighters within distance of the target, while they themselves remain safe. I'm sure they're equipped with a great deal of protective measures themeselves, taking advantage of kevlar and other fabrics for their vulnerable underbellies, and what not.
To be sure.
And no, I had to strike that after a discussion with Kristian when he showed me launch platform for ATOE would be unreasonable and unfeasible. BoArthur 18:05, 18 December 2006 (PST)
Stil VERY cool! Could be revived in IB sci-fi... Elemtilas 19:12, 18 December 2006 (PST)