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Introduction

The Airship Association believes that Lighter than Air Vehicles (LTAV) have the potential to provide viable and cost-effective aerospace platforms for a number of applications which are currently undertaken by a variety of more conventional forms of transport. LTAVs should not be considered a replacement for conventional aircraft or ships, but complementary; part of a comprehensive transport network which reduces the economic cost of transport in certain areas. Additionally, the growing concern by governments, organisations and individuals, over the consumption of natural resources are leading more people to ask why are we expending so much energy to get into the air, and remain there using aerodynamic principles, when we can use aerostatic principles to reduce both the energy cost and the financial operating cost of some of our transport requirements. The LTA industry has never received sufficient investment to establish itself as a viable industry, and public perception has been very negative due to several spectacular disasters in the late 1920s and 1930s. The very successful deployment of hundreds of LTAVs in the anti-submarine warfare and convoy protection roles until the early 1960s is virtually unknown. The Airship Association therefore exists to promote the science, practice and consideration of all matters relating to airships. It does this by publishing books and papers connected with airships, and by holding an international conference every two years. The Association also publishes a quarterly journal to assist the promotion of research and experimental work on airships.

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