In the world I am building the people use large powered blimps. They do have a good reason for using these. What I'm Asking is when could people earliest make blimps If planes didn't happen.

  • $\begingroup$ A zeppelin (or dirigible) is different than a blimp. Which one do you mean? $\endgroup$
    – Samuel
    Aug 5 '15 at 1:21
  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean the Wright's brothers switch to doing entertainment business performing for a circus instead? well at least they never failed to make people laugh only this time the audiences are underage. $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Aug 5 '15 at 3:19

Blimps or airships are difficult things. Helium is hard to get, hydrogen is explosive, and hot air doesn't lift much.

Hot air balloons were available from 1783. They didn't have enough payload to carry an engine.

Hydrogen balloons came not much later, but without much payload at first. That balloon needs a sufficiently powerful engine. There was a powered airship in 1852.

An alternative history could have airships a few years before, but a lightweight steam engine requires metallurgy and precision engineering.


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