JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 854
Just a short post this evening on what looks to be an amazing futuristic vision of he dirigible, found lurking in the "science Jottings" page of the 14 August 1909 issue of The Illustrated London News. (This section has provided more than its fair share of entertainment, a consistent pleasurama of sciency bits all confined to a single page.) The airship was noted as being designed by "Kuepferle", unfortunately without a first name, who was associated somehow with "authorities at Frankfurt". The ship was to be a fantastic 100 metres long, and was set to hold fifty passengers (with, I guess, a crew of 25?) The structure on the the top of the aircraft was a screen to prevent the sun from heating the helium elements too much, which, somehow, were to be turned into a parachute in the case of a disaster. The unnamed artist made his drawings from a model, while the "dirigible proper would be available before very long".
The magnificent possible length for the airship--100 metres--was huge for 1909, but was eclipsed (in relatively short order) by the American Akron, a 1931 monster which came in at over 240 metres. Still, the Kuepferle machine had a rich sci-fi design with a big Buck Rogers feel, a lovely thing.
It was certainly far prettier than this flying aircraft carrier decorating the cover of La Science et la Vie for January 1924. I'm not sure what the efficacy was for this idea, this enormous beast catering to one airplane at a time...but it all sure looked pretty in blue.
The real thing, the Akron, below: