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Cool Airship

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The only way to travel: by airship castle.

While airships in general are considered cool, the Cool Airship is beyond cool. Most of the time, it will have an impossibly cool design which would most likely be unable to fly in Real Life. Fortunately, fiction has Phlebotinum and/or hybrid designs (heavier-than-air airships that fly with some level of aerodynamic assistance from lifting bodies, wings, rotors, etc.) for that little problem. Cool Airships also tend to be exceptionally big, sometimes so big that they double as Airborne Aircraft Carriers or even airborne cities.

The Cool Airship is the preferred method of travel for Sky Pirates and technologically-savvy Nazis,note  and is extremely common in classic scientific romances and Steampunk. Technically, airships are far more Diesel Punk, with regards to both style and overall use, but they were actually invented in the Victorian era. The first airship flew in 1852 and was propelled by, you guessed it, a steam engine. Yes, that means blimps were around before the radio, On the Origin of Species, and the Lincoln administration.

It's worth noting that not all airships are Cool Airships. For instance, the Goodyear Blimp is definitely not a Cool Airship. Like the Cool Car and the Cool Plane, the Cool Airship is exceptionally cool. Furthermore, it has to be owned by a major character, or otherwise play a prominent role, such as acting as the setting for a major scene. For massive cool points, it should be appointed like Titanic, with a casino, bar, and a sultry chanteuse on board for the entertainment of the passengers. Military or pirate vessels are known to carry an internal aircraft hangar and lots o' guns. Either way, any Cool Airship worth its salt usually boasts an Unnecessarily Large Interior. This is actually justified, in Real Life large airships need the vast hull space for weight distribution. It goes without saying that they are usually commanded by a badass of some sort.

Unfortunately, with most of the world's militaries largely giving up on the vehicle type after a series of deadly crashes and especially after the fiery public destruction of the Hindenburg in 1937, airships were almost phased out in Real Life, so there are few examples in that category, with most modern airships being used for advertising, tourism and surveillance. See our Useful Notes on airships for more information on these craft and their history. Today, it's unlikely that they'll ever make a big comeback and overtake other aircraft, since modern jets are 4-5 times faster and helicopters are more nimble. Then again, even in their heyday airships were never common, seen more as the pinnacle or the titan of aircraft, something rare and newsworthy. However, there is a budding renaissance of Cool Airships being built and tested for niche applications, for example replacing cargo helicopters at ten times the range and a tenth the cost. This is largely fueled by the new development of hybrid(heavier-than-air) airship technology, which gives them much higher payloads, greater speed and more resistance to foul weather. Some other good examples of hybrid airships would be the LEMV and the Aeroscraft.

See Zeppelins from Another World for airships being used to help show the viewers that something is set in an Alternate Universe or Alternate History. The two can overlap, but Zeppelins from Another World are often just a background detail, and Cool Airships (including ones in Speculative Fiction) aren't always used to hint at an Alternate Universe setting. After all, some exist in Real Life.

In fantasy or Steampunk settings, the word "airship" will often be used for aircraft that are not airships in the real-life definition of the word. They may look like actual flying ships, or otherwise have no visible means of staying in the air, save for perhaps some tiny propellers or slowly flapping wings. Usually these use some sort of vague Applied Phlebotinum to lift off the ground, if it's even explained at all. Conversely, Science Fiction settings can invoke the trope with spaceships flying in the atmosphere.

A Sub-Trope of Cool Ship, and so a Sister Trope of Cool Boat and Cool Plane. Related to the Square-Cube Law, Hollywood Density and Balloonacy. If it's a Living Ship, it's probably also a Living Gasbag. If the airship isn't just cool, but also ominous and threatening, that's Dread Zeppelin.

See also Global Airship for the video game-specific variant.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Doraemon: Nobita's Sky Utopia have Doraemon, Nobita and friends hopping aboard Doraemon's new, gadget-laden airship to explore a new kingdom in the skies, the titular Sky Utopia.
  • Eureka Seven: The Gekko, which is also capable of suborbital/orbital operations.
  • Gaiking: The Legend of Daiku-Maryu, the ship being the titular Daikuu Maryuu. The Daichi Maryuu and the Tenkuu Maryuu are also examples, though the Daichi is more like a Cool Tank. And they're all shaped like dragons.
  • Hellsing: Millennium have three airships — the two Graf Zeppelins, one of which withstood fire from Harkonnan 2, and the Hindenburg II, which dwarfed Buckingham Palace and contained an army of 1000 vampires.
  • Last Exile: Hell, EVERY airship from Last Exile. Each are heavily armoured ships of the line with steam-powered cannons and anti-gravity generators to stay aloft, with a few such as the Silvana being especially powerful due to unique or state of the art technology.
  • Mazinger Z:
    • Guru, Count Brocken's aerial fortress. It appears for first time at the episode 40.
    • Great Mazinger: Mykeros and Demonika, Mykene army's flying fortresses and aerial carriers.
  • The Moomin (1990) anime adds a plotline spanning multiple episodes about Snork building a flying ship, which looks like a large boat with wings and and multiple helicopter-like rotors. Most residents of Moominvalley (especially Moomintroll) are amazed at the thought of a ship flying through the air, but unfortunately, it's never properly used as it consumes too much fuel and was destroyed in "The Big Explosion" before a solution to this problem could be found. Snork then gets right back to work building a new model, this one resembling a hot air balloon with propellers, and while it's much smaller, it's also more practical and is successfully flown in the Season 1 finale.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Chao Lingshen's airship, which serves as the stage for the final battle in the Festival Arc.
    • When the group gets to the Magic World, there are cool airships everywhere, although they're somehow combined with the Flying Seafood Special. Haruna managed to get her hands on her own Cool Airship by drawing and selling dojinji to the lack of supply magic world and earned a fortune, and the Ala Alba uses it as their base.
  • Now and Then, Here and There: Hellywood is a prime example of this trope. It also leads to the possibility that the world that this show is set in is actually a dystopian steam punk world, since this beast of an airship flies on water!
  • Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan: The Takarabune (Treasure Ship), which Rikuo and his hyakki-yako use to storm Kyoto after Hagoromo Gitsune. Apparently the old Nurarihyon has been holding out on showing it to his grandson.
    Rikuo: (after he first sees it) No one's ever told me about that...
  • The Pilot's Love Song: Some of the aircraft are actually pretty realistic. Others... not so much.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon: The Series:
      • Lawrence III's airship Hikōkyū (Japanese for "Flying Palace") from Pokémon 2000 and Zero's Megarig from Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior; also the Battle Pyramid (inhabited by Frontier Brain Brandon) most likely qualifies as an airship. All three of these crash in pursuit of a Legendary Pokémon, no less.
      • Team Rockets' Meowth-shaped hot air balloon, which just happens to be their main form of transportation. However, after they Took a Level in Badass in the Best Wishes anime, they abandon the Meowth balloon and replace it with a simple purple hot air balloon with a stylized Team Rocket "R" insignia on it.
    • Pokémon Horizons: The Series gives us Brave Asagi, a massive dirigible serving as the heroes' mobile home.
    • In Pokémon Adventures, there's the Team Rocket Airship in the FireRed/LeafGreen arc that can turn into a stadium with a push of a button. Giovanni probably designed it that way specifically for his rematch with Red.
  • In Reborn to Master the Blade, the Midlander Knight's primary form of transportation are Flygears, small airships that move incredibly fast, can ignore bad terrain, and can carry about 2-3 heads plus the pilot. They also come in much larger Flygear Carriers that act as mobile bases and refueling stations for the smaller Flygears, and also Flygear Battleships, though these are the sole domain of the Highlanders, a technologically advanced society that literally lives above the Midlanders. Later, the anti-Highlander extremist group, the Ironblood Chain Brigade, somehow manage to build their own battleship, explicitly used to wage war against the Highlanders and facilitate terror attacks.
  • The Vision of Escaflowne: The anime features a huge variety of airships. All of them operate on the concept of "float stones" rocks that seem to be a super conducting element native to Gaea which naturally float as a result of magnetics. They can be caused to descend by heating them, which just like regular magnets causes them to stop functioning until cooled. The principle airship is the Crusade, but many many others are seen through the series.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! gives us Seto Kaiba's airship, which bears resemblance to your stereotypical blimps or semi-rigid frames (although, considering what it was capable of, it was probably rigid). The gondola on the bottom was large and comfortable enough to host the Battle City finalists and their friends, as well as Kaiba and his employees. There was also a lift which took people to the top of the airship, where a large dueling arena was installed, notable for having Tristan and Duke almost fall off the edge. Yup, children's card games are just that important.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions's prequel manga, many guilds in Kaiba Corps's VRMMORPG ride one of these to face down other guilds riding other cool airships. Kaiba gets his own personal airship that can be summed up as "rocket-powered Blue-Eyes White Dragon head".
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, Yuma and Anna team up against Tobio and Umimi in one two-part episode, two duelists who use monsters that are Cool Airships; Tobio's monster is Supercolossal Airship Giant Hindenburg, while Umimi's is Supercolossal Unsinkable Superliner Elegant Titanic (which, despite being named after a boat, is also an airship). They later use both monsters to Xyz Summon the even cooler Skypalace Gangaridai, and then use it to summon the coolest airship of all, CXyz Skypalace Babylon. Unfortunately, the last one is an evil card given to them by the Barians, making them their Unwitting Pawns; eventually despite all the coolness, they lose.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • The Weatherlight was a flying ship that could travel between different planes, and also served as the centerpiece in a plan to protect the world from extraplanar invasion. Its power core is the compressed remnant of a collapsed pocket universe.
    • There was also its flying rival, the Predator.
    • Kaladesh, a plane characterized by its natives' intense devotion to invention and Clockpunk and Steampunk aesthetics, is home to a profusion of shiny brass skyships and thopters of intricate, extremely ornate design.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • The French Revolution Batman in the Elseworld Batman: Reign of Terror has something similar, with a bat insignia on the balloon.
    • The villain of the Elseworld Gotham by Gaslight: Master of the Future had a fancy airship with a robotic pilot.
  • Crimson Skies is essentially a world made up of flying airships, air commerce and air pirates in the 1940s. Used for cargo, transportation and carriers for smaller aircraft, there's no shortage of cool airships flying around. The novels and videogames also reflect this.
  • Disney Kingdoms: The Figment comics include the Dreamfinder's air ship from the original Journey Into Imagination ride.
  • Lady Mechanika: Lord Blackpool's gigantic airship The Helio Arx. Besides its sleek looks, it packs a large complement of Blackpool's soldiers and has some of the latest Mechanika City technology as his flagship and mobile base of operations.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Professor Moriarty and Fu Manchu attack London from their respective armored zeppelins. Well, Fu Manchu was working on one, but never completed it. The airships both run on Cavorite, an anti-gravity element, and there isn't enough to go around. Moriarity stole the element from Fu Manchu to run his airship, which Fu Manchu promptly attacks with an army of kite-men in a very visually dramatic aerial battle.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • The Classic and Ultimate universes both have the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. In the classic universe, it seemingly stays airborne 24/7... except for its almost yearly crashing due to attacks. In Deadpool Pulp, the equivalent of S.H.I.E.L.D. is based in the Dirigi-Carrier.
    • Marvel 1602: In Fantastick Four, Doom has an airship that is literally a ship with a balloon over the top. He uses it to kidnap William Shakespeare.
  • Nikolai Dante features The Imperial Palace, a literal flying fortress, bristling with BFGs, Strikehawk squadrons, and missile batteries, including nukes, but also including living quarters, the Tsar's court and dungeons, and plenty of troops. It also makes assassination attempts against the Tsar extremely difficult because any would-be assassin would need an aircraft, or at least a jetpack to both get on board and escape. Escaping from the damn thing is extremely difficult, with only two people ever being successful, one of whom was rendered comatose for twenty five years as a result and the other being Nikolai Dante. It's not known if it's spaceworthy, because the sheer size of the thing would probably be impossible to accelerate to the velocity required to escape the Earth's atmosphere.
  • In Red Hood and the Outlaws the team takes possession of Crux's airship after defeating him. It has enough features and gadget to make Arsenal very happy, including a cloaking device and vertical take-off and landing capacities.
    Arsenal : Before anyone asks — yes, I'm in LOVE.
  • Requiem Vampire Knight features airships very prominently, but the biggest example is the S.S. Satanik, Dracula's personal flagship: its a colossal monster that makes Men o'War look like boats in comparison, its crewed by 5,000 vampires, plus 500 victims and a team of 400 Archaeologists to maintain the ship. Its armed with weapons from every Earth era, including demonically-guided impalers, photon torpedoes, tractor beams and three Doomsday Men (exceptionally evil vampires that had to be locked up inside coffins). In addition, its protected by phantom and demonic shields, has its own ballroom, chapel, several dungeons and many impaling facilities.
  • Supergirl/Batgirl crossover Escape from the Phantom Zone the Phantom Cruiser Val-Kon, a flying giant sailboat resembling a cross between an Asian Proa and a Viking ship. Built from ghost carbon, it is the only ship which can sail through the Phantom Zone.
  • Watchmen: The second Nite Owl has an airship named "Archie". It's noted as the only airship in the world that can maneuver between buildings, and underwater.

    Fan Works 
  • Antipodes: The Lunar battleship that Jigsaw finds and repairs is an immense, high-tech Zeppelin armed with powerful energy weapons and protected by a magical shield.
  • Austraeoh has the Noble Jury, a futuristic vessel that easily outflies all other airships in the setting, and serves for several books as the home of Rainbow Dash's friends (who often refer to themselves as Noble Jurists).
  • Child of the Storm:
    • The S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier which, predictably, crashes in chapter 70 of the first book. It gets rebuilt and refitted and gives a much better acount of itself during the Battle of New Orleans in Unfinished Business, taking on a Super Star Destroyer construct made of a piece of the now godlike Arc Villain's soul. Somehow, it Makes Sense In Context.
    • MI13's Valiant (not from Doctor Who, which is fiction in this 'verse — though jokes are cracked about the name being the same) which is apparently delayed by over six months thanks to BAE screwing up the engines. However, it turns up in the sequel, protecting Hogwarts during the Triwizard Tournament. Like its S.H.I.E.L.D. counterpart, it can go into stealth mode. Unlike its S.H.I.E.L.D. counterpart, it has a vibranium hull (scraped off the below-mentioned Dreadnought) - and the vibranium functions as far more than just armour plating... it's demonstrated to be extraordinarily powerful, taking on an Elder Wyrm, an ancient, mountain-sized dragon capable of destroying planets and equally a Physical God like Thor and more than holding its own.
    • HYDRA have a bigger, badder Helicarrier called the Dreadnought. It was originally a prototype SHIELD Helicarrier until the HYDRA Agents within SHIELD faked its explosive destruction and smuggled it away. It's armed with Destroyer weaponry, has repulsor tech engines, a Nexus Engine of Bifrost tech that allows it to teleport anywhere in the world and, following the events of chapter 70, a vibranium hull. Of course, it doesn't last long either, but it does give a very good account of itself in its short life, taking on — simultaneously — the Avengers, MI13's "Project Wolftrap" the refitted and rearmed HMS Belfast, a WWII era Light Cruiser now equipped with Destroyer weaponry and more or less everything else that could be stuffed into it, and a number of others, including a temporarily drafted Green Lantern. Unfortunately for it, it had no defence against Magneto scrunching it up like a ball of foil in chapter 77.
  • Communication: The third iteration introduces the flagship of the focused on Badass Army the Void Whisper, an Heroic Third-rate(later First-rate)airship.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Due to an impending ritual by the cult of Crowned Death Ami is forced to construct a fleet of these to conduct her forces across a quarter of the planet in less than three days, to prevent eight thousand innocents from being tortured to death. They also engage an undead navy in mid-air combat (due to undead warlocks levitateing the ships). They were (naturally) equipped with swivelling turrets for their mounted canons, Reaperbot repelling lines, and an entertainment system for Rabixtriel...
  • Exchange has the Dawn Star which, despite having only two cannons that were added on later, manages to overcome incredible feats such as taking on an entire armada of military airships and defeating Twilight Sparkle's Harbringer (though not without sacrifice of the ship).
  • In The Great Alicorn Hunt, once each of the Mane Six becomes an alicorn, and prepare to go on their country-wide tours (as cover for searching for more potential alicorns), they are each given an airship that they are able to customize to their heart's content.
  • Legionnaire, Equestria has the biggest airships and the largest air fleet in the world.
  • The Mixed-Up Life of Brad: Princesses Celestia and Luna have impressive private airships (Solar Barque and Selenic Maiden), both of which are so huge that they don't fit in any airship port and need to be anchored to the castle while they're in the capital.
  • MLP Next Generation: Know Fear! has Twilight's personal airship, the warship Avalon. Sadly, during the first sequel, it gets shot down by the griffons; while it survives the landing, it eventually has to be sacrificed Enterprise-style in order to take out a griffon-allied Diamond Dog army.
  • Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space. In the zeerust future of 2009, Captain Proton uses a vacuum-dirigible to travel across Mysterious Antarctica — vacuum being literally lighter-than-air gives it lift, and propulsion is via corkscrew driving planes encircling the dirigible.
  • Sunset Eclipsed: The Summerstar, Lionel Summerset's personal zeppelin in Sunset Rekindled, which becomes the heroes' main source of transportation after the Las Pegasus arc of the story. Its cab/gondola is massive, has an armoury, a lounge with a fully-stocked bar, multiple bedrooms, an infirmary, a casino, a library/study area, a cargo bay, along with special modifications such as booster engines and on-board weaponry in the form of a Howitzer-esque cannon (which is later joined by a Gatling Gun) scavenged from Fort Echidna).
  • In Tealove's Steamy Adventure, Minty travels in a hot air balloon that, with the flick of a lever, can transform into a glider. Baron Zeppeli pursues them in his slightly-less-cool lead zeppelin.

    Films — Animation 
  • Cars: Minor character Al Oft the Lightyear blimp. His only line is "Oh yeah!".
  • The Great Mouse Detective: Ratigan's pedal-powered blimp, as well as the Union Jack and sardine can-made blimp used by the heroes.
  • Rock and Rule has Mok abduct Angel, and take her to Nuke York City in his personal airship. This craft is composed of the central section of his mansion, while the air sac is deployed and inflated from the roof in mere minutes. About a third of Mok's home is the gondola of a zeppelin. He's that ostentatious.
  • The Steam Engines of Oz ends with Victoria, Phadrig and Gromit setting sail in a steam powered airship propelled by fan-like oars as they go in search of Phadrig's sons.
  • In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Bowser's castle functions as an airship, which is already pretty cool, but it has a volcano on it that actually shoots lava.
  • Treasure Planet: RLS Legacy, a Space Sailing Solar Punk ship.
  • The Spirit of Adventure from Up owned by Big Bad Charles F. Muntz.
  • War of the Worlds: Goliath: The heavily-armed 1,500-foot A.R.E.S. airships like the Leviathan and the Agamemnon.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Elysium: The Raven, Kruger's military transport that can even fly into orbit.
  • Enter the Eagles: The climatic final battle takes place aboard an airship about to take off, and it lifts off just as protagonist Martin is struggling with the main villain on its lower carriage.
  • Filibus: The main character is a lady thief who operates out of an airship with an elevator cabin that lets her and her crew sneak up on victims undetected.
  • Five Weeks in a Balloon: The heroes fly around in one, exploring Darkest Africa.
  • Master of the World: The airship is kept up by multiple fixed vertical propellers, and closely resembles the sea going Nautilus.
  • The Red Tent (1969): The airship "Italia", at least until it crashes in a storm, stranding its crew on the polar ice. It should be noted that this was a real airship, and the movie was based on true events.
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes: To chase after the giant mechanical Steampunk dragon the Big Bad is piloting to lay waste to London, Holmes commandeers another of Big Bad's flying machines: a one-man airship that is a cross between a hot air balloon and a rotorcraft. And armed with Gatling guns.
  • In Sky Bandits, the German experimental airship is a veritable flying fortress, armed with all kinds of strange weaponry, such as floating mines and caltrop bombs.
  • Sky High (2005): The titular school levitates, and constantly moves around to keep villains from attacking it.
  • In Stardust, Captain Shakespeare pilots a flying ship, called the Caspartine. Literally. Like a sea ship that flies. It also harvests lightning.
  • The Three Musketeers (2011) has a definitely cool British airship based (in-story) on a Leonardo da Vinci design. Cardinal Richelieu's forces get an ever bigger one near the end of the film and use it to combat the former that the musketeers had hijacked. Both ships crash eventually, but The Stinger reveals Buckingham is back for a vengeance with a whole armada of airships.
  • Thunderbirds: Skyship One from Thunderbird 6 is a variation. Designed by Brains, it travels just like a regular airship but uses Anti-Gravity instead of buoyant gas.
  • A View to a Kill: Max Zorin's airship may look like a boring old blimp, but does yours unfold from a construction shack and come with an integrated deathtrap? Max even gets to make a Bond One-Liner.
  • Zeppelin involves a fictional secret mission undertaken by a Prussian Germany prototype zeppelin, the "LZ36", to sneak an assault team into Britain and steal or destroy various historical documents, such as the Magna Carta. The plan goes bust partially thanks to The Hero, a mole sent by the British to infiltrate the team.

  • In Ack-Ack Macaque, the titular protagonist lives in 2050s of an Alternate Timeline where nuclear-powered zeppelins were the norm since the 1970s Oil Shock. The Tereshkova is one example dating back from the 1980s and still had plenty of years left as a luxury liner until it was shot down by the Songoku, which is a Nigh-Invulnerable nuclear airship dreadnought from another dimension where technology improves at a much faster rate.
  • Airborn and its sequels, Skybreaker and Starclimber, are the very embodiment of this trope. Yhey take place in an alternate history in which airships never lost popularity, despite the Hindenburg incident, thanks to the new element "hydrium". This changes technological advancement to an enormous extent, and airships and ornithopters are much more popular than any sea-going vessel. The main character (Matt Cruse, a name that screams "adventure/romance novel") starts out as a cabin boy aboard the Aurora, a luxurious cruise airship. In Skybreaker, a very low-class ship is shown, and then another high-price ship that can also reach incredible altitudes. In the same book, the plot centers around an absolutely immense derelict airship.
  • The Areas of My Expertise: Apparently, President Hoover spent the better part of the 1930s on his hoveryacht in the Caspian Sea. In More Information Than You Require, John Hodgman rides around in a zeppelin called The Hubris, given to him as a gift by Emo Phillips.
  • Books of the Raksura: Golden Isles wind-ships are made from supernaturally strong wood and are kept aloft and propelled by "sustainers", magically reverse-engineered chunks of a Floating Continent. Even the Winged Humanoid Raksura are impressed by the design — and when they see a city building blimps, find them all the more ridiculous by comparison.
  • Chanters of Tremaris features an ancient spaceship that was landed, converted into a city, and abandoned.
  • The titular Pneumatic Zeppelin of Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin is a stolen warship zeppelin that's fairly well-armoured, has a respectable amount of cannons and a turreted steam-powered rapid-fire speargun. In this world altered by a Martian invasion, armoured zeppelins are the only way to travel safely.
  • The Cinder Spires takes place in a Steampunk world After the End, where humanity lives in the titular huge spires, high above the clouds. Airships are the primary mode of travel between spires, and the first novel features several cool ones, including Grimm's ship Predator, as well as the much feared battlecruiser Itasca
  • Doc Savage: In several novels, Doc employs a highly advanced airship of his own design that employs a lifting gas of his own invention, with a buoyancy greater than hydrogen but not flammable.
  • Jack Vance's Durdane series features passenger airships tethered to dollies on fixed ground tracks, thus making them an odd hybrid of airship and train.
  • The Edge Chronicles: Any and every sky ship probably fits this trope, more or less looking like a typical pirate ship except capable of flight, and usually with a crew made up entirely of badasses. Not to mention they get their lighter-than-air capabilities from magic floating rocks.
  • Free Wrench: Airships serve as the main setting. The Dreadnought is a massive war platform, the Wind Breaker is recognizable because of its Calderan decoration and the Skykeep is The Alcatraz.
  • A Game Of Titans pits the Real Life Soviet aircraft carrier Kiev against the USAF nuclear-powered airship Grand Eagle. The airship carries a contingent of Harriers. It also has cruise missiles and lasers.
  • Gotrek & Felix: The Spirit of Grungni, built by dwarf engineer turned Slayer Malakai Makaisson to fly into the Chaos Wastes, is an armor-plated airship, armed with gatling guns, in a world where most fighting is still done with sword and bow.
  • Pretty much all of the entries in The Great Balloon Race qualify, with most of them being a Thememobile appropriate to their country of origin. Special mention goes to the British entry, which is an actual battleship suspended beneath a balloon.
  • The Heroes of Olympus: The Argo II is a flying Greek trireme. While the ballistae that fire exploding bolts are cool, the best feature is the control systems, which include a keyboard and monitor, aviation controls of a Lear jet, a dubstep soundboard, and a Wiimote.
  • Jackelian Series: The Kingdom of Jackals has an entire air force of them. In Jack Cloudie, Cassarabia fields a fleet of its own, and the Cool Prototype Airship Iron Partridge more than holds its own against them.
  • Johannes Cabal the Detective has one with a murder mystery onboard the latest airship, the Princess Hortense which isn't a lighter than air dirigble. The Princess runs on Laithwaite Gyroscopic Levitators to rise and then drags itself through the atmosphere with its Magneto-Etheric Guides which latches on to the Earth's magnetic field. It also doubles as an aircraft carrier, with gyroscopic small fliers on its flat top. In fact, it has a fair resemblance to a Marvel Comic's S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier and even has a spec/diagram on page 48 - having the honor of the story's few diagrams.
  • Jules Verne:
    • Five Weeks in a Balloon: Not really an airship, but the Victoria is cool because it is capable of having its altitude controlled without losing gas or ballast, and therefore of staying aloft for five weeks to explore the heart of Africa. It's kept aloft by a combination of heat and hydrogen gas. The other characters point out how dangerous this is, but Ferguson, the inventor, is willing to take the risk. (The Other Wiki's page on the book had an entire section about how the balloon's mechanism as described by Verne is scientifically impossible. It's still available in the discussion page.)
    • Robur the Conqueror: Subverted. The lighter-than-air Go Ahead is an impressive airship in itself, but it looks absolutely pathetic next to the heavier-than-air giant rotary flying machine Albatross.
  • Leviathan: The titular airship is essentially a flying whale, held aloft by hydrogen-filled bladders, whose onboard systems are also an ecosystem. This is standard practice for the Allied powers' flying vessels — even their hot air balloons are made out of genetically engineered jellyfish.
  • The Long Earth:
    • The Mark Twain . Not only can it fly, it can also "step" between parallel Earths at a great pace. It also has a great deal of laboratories and robots for its AI captain, Lobsang, to experiment with.
    • By The Long War, "twains" have become a standard feature of the Long Earth. Most aren't quite so cool as the Mark Twain (for one, most of them aren't captained by Lobsang), but the airships of the US Navy military flag-showing expedition West (especially the USS Benjamin Franklin, as that is the one we see the most) and the Chinese test-bed Zheng He get up there.
  • "A Meeting with Medusa", by Arthur C. Clarke, features a couple of Cool Airships. The story opens with the protagonist as captain of a 1500-foot-long helium-filled dirigible, intended to serve as a flying luxury cruise ship. Unfortunately, the Queen Elizabeth IV is destroyed in a freak accident during a test flight over the Grand Canyon. The action then flashes forward to seven years later, with the protagonist now about to embark on a voyage in the story's second Cool Airship, a nuclear-fusion-powered hot-hydrogen balloon — that will be dropped into the atmosphere of Jupiter.
  • Megalodon: The protagonists have to transport a sperm whale thousands of miles to their base of operations in the Pacific. They discover that the only aircraft big enough is a MK-10 Low-Altitude Helium Dirigible tank transporter. While the vessel itself turns out to be quite cool, it's agreed by all concerned that the addition of an underslung sixty-foot whale elevates it to Moment of Awesome status.
  • Pellucidar: In Tarzan at the Earth's Core, the 0-220, the airship used by an expedition to travel to the hollow center of the Earth through the North Pole entrance. Instead of hydrogen or helium, it used vacuum tanks for lift. There's a complete description at the end of Chapter 2.
  • Robert Rankin: Retromancer and The Japanese Devil Fish Girl both feature different cool airships. The first plays music designed to herald the arrival of the ship by scaring the shit out of people.The chapter that features the airship attacking New York has diagrams as a chapter picture. The second crashes and burns. The second is touted as a fine example of British engineering. Make of that what you will.
  • Rudyard Kipling's "With the Night Mail" is set on an airship which gets its lift from "Fleury's Gas", energized by "Fleury's Ray". This provides much more lift than hydrogen or helium, allowing the airship to be built with a more rigid structure and thus hit higher speeds. As in 210 knots at one point. (USS Macon maxed out at 76.)
  • Shannara:
  • Tales of the Ketty Jay is a series about steampunk airship pirates. The Ketty Jay manages to be a Cool Airship, despite being quite an old and outdated model at the time the novel is set (the Ketty Jay is so heavily armored that it takes rockets to damage and can hold its own with a powerful autocannon). Apparently she's patched together in such a haphazzard way, that only Frey can really fly her to her full potential. The Delerium Trigger is a more straightfoward example, although while it's very big and powerful, it's not quite as fast as the smaller fighter ships.
  • In Terminal World, Swarm is a mobile city composed of dozens of massive zeppelins. The airships are built with a massive array of redundant archaic technology as the laws of reality can shift without warning and render more advanced equipment useless. Citizens traverse the city via small dirigible "taxis" or flexible rope bridges. Swarm scouts out its travel path with small, autocannon-toting airships.
  • Timeline Wars: All novels involve a Cool Airship. The fact that the second book is named Washington's Dirigible is sort of a clue; that book ends with a climactic battle on the airship.
  • The War Against the Chtorr: The Hieronymus Bosch, a luxury airship that carries the scientific mission to the Amazon in A Season for Slaughter.
  • The Warlord Of The Air by Michael Moorcock has a soldier from 1903 wake up in an alternate 1973 where WWI never happened and fleets of airships from the western Great Powers rule the air, and the world.

    Live-Action TV 
  • LazyTown: Sportacus not only travels in a cool airship, he lives in it too.
  • The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne: The Aurora is the first dirigible in the world, owned by Phileas Fogg. It serves as the homebase of the main characters. Also, an episode is featured where villains make their own airship and arm it with heavy guns in order to support the South in The American Civil War.
  • The earlier Metal Heroes series used these a lot, though the later installments wavered away. A good example is Jikuu Senshi Spielban, who has the Grand Nasca, a massive flying fortress that acts as a base for Spielban and his partners, supplying them with their vehicles and armor. It also has two alternate modes — Combat Formation, which turns it into a giant robot, and the Big Bang Cannon, a bazooka-type weapon that Spielban can use via holographic technology.
    • VR Troopers later used the footage of the Grand Nasca as the VR Skybase, the Troopers' aerial fortress, along with its robot form VR Troopertron and weapon form VR Techno Bazooka.
  • Super Sentai: The first twelve series of the line all featured "Flying Fortresses", giant flying vehicles that served as the team's primary aerial combat machines in the first two series and then as a means to transport their mecha to the battlefield in the next ten. A number of these were piloted by the team's Robot Buddy or their mentor, though some were piloted by members of the team itself.
    • Himitsu Sentai Gorenger: The Variblune, an early bulldog-like VTOL aircraft which serves as the team's first flying fortress, and contains their vehicles and various tools for them to use. It was destroyed in episode #42 and replaced by the Varidorin, a bird-like flying fortress, during the same episode; the Varidorin was eventually destroyed in the finale when the Black Cross Castle, though a second copy was later seen in the J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai vs. Gorenger epilogue movie.
    • J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai: The team's flying fortress is the Sky Ace, armed with various weapons. It also contains the Powered Capsules, which the team entered to transform.
    • Battle Fever J: The team's flying fortress is the Battle Shark, which stores the Battle Fever Robo and all of its weapons. From this point on, all the Sentai airships were mainly mecha carriers (not counting mecha components), until the last 80s series completely eliminated the tradition.
    • Denshi Sentai Denziman: The team's flying fortress is the Denzi Tiger, which is armed with a pair of missile launchers and is where the Denzi Fighter (which transformed into the team's Denzi Robo) is stored.
    • Taiyou Sentai Sun Vulcan: The team's flying fortress is the Jaguar Vulcan, which stored the two components of the Sun Vulcan Robo.
    • Dai Sentai Goggle Five: The team's flying fortress is the Goggle Caesae, which was piloted by Goggle Black and Goggle Pink, and in turn launched three numbered carrier pods, each of which contained one of the three components of GoggleRobo. Unlike most flying fortresses, it fought alongside the team's mecha.
    • Kagaku Sentai Dynaman: The team's flying fortress is DyJupiter, which, like its predecessors, contained the components of Dyna Robo. In the Gag Dub, its name was Dyna Ship. The series also contained the Grand Gizmo, utilized by the villains of the series as a base and to release its aerial fighters, until its destruction in the finale.
    • Choudenshi Bioman: The team's flying fortress is the Bio Dragon, which contained the two components of Bio Robo.
    • Dengeki Sentai Changeman: The team's flying fortress is the Shuttlebase, a shuttle carrier that contained the three components of Change Robo. It was fully functional as a spaceship, and in the finale went into space with several of the team's allies to travel to other worlds terrorized by the series' Big Bad and help them rebuild.
    • Choushinsei Flashman: The team's flying fortress is the Star Condor, which contained the components of Flash King and Titan Boy, along with Flash King's Cosmo Sword. In the finale, it was used to carry the team back to the Flash star system, leaving the Round Base (which it launched from, and which had originally taken them to Earth) behind.
    • Hikari Sentai Maskman: The team's flying fortress is the Turbo Ranger, not to be confused with the Sentai team that debuted two years later.note  Designed to resemble a sports car, it can carry either the Great Five components, or the Land Galaxy.
    • Choujuu Sentai Liveman: The team's flying fortress is the Machine Buffalo, which carried the components of Live Robo or Live Boxer. It marked the last use of a single-purpose carrier for individual mecha; from hereon out, the mecha carriers could combine with other mecha or had alternative purposes, like the Vic-Trailer (which supplied the mecha's main weapon) and Giga Bitus (which transformed into a giant robo of its own and joined the team in battle at least once).
    • Tensou Sentai Goseiger: Gosei Ultimate, the team's last new mecha to be introduced, transforms from a giant airship and serves in part to focus the powers of the five Miracle Headders. It can also serve as a jetpack for Gosei Great.
  • Team Knight Rider has the heroes move around in one of these as well.

  • Bloodline: The Last Royal Vampire: The Holy Land have large blocky airships that act as their mobile bases of operations. The War Maiden’s personal flagship, the Nebuchadnezzar II, even has cloaking.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Anima: Beyond Fantasy has several, that work with the help of some Magitek and are used as the equivalent of luxury liners. The most notable of them is "The Lady" in the only adventure module for the game it's hijacked and apparently ends crashing.
  • Castle Falkenstein: The Bayernese Aeronavy uses aerocruisers built with dwarven alloys (lighter and stronger than titanium), hydrogen made less flammable by magic, and a magical Magnetic Engine that pulls it along at up to a couple hundred miles per hour.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Eberron has elemental airships, where elemental creatures are trapped in a crystal maze engine.
    • Forgotten Realms magocracy Halruaa has levitating sailing skyships.
    • Mystara has a lot of these and most of the world was introduced via travel logs of one. Bonus points for having a sourcebook named simply Top Ballista.
  • GURPS: Pyramid Vol 3 #64 "Pirates and Swashbucklers" includes an article called "Sailing the Open Skies", about using GURPS Spaceships rules to create Magitek and Steampunk airships, including examples: the Cloudclipper, a "sailpunk" flying boat powered by magical solar sails; the Seahorse, an assault cruiser with magical propellers, carrying Sand Flea Land, Sea and Air vehicles, all powered by elemental furnaces; and the Stormrider, a psychically controlled and powered living airship created from the remains of a telekinetic Living Gasbag called a Cloud-That-Hungers.
  • Leviathans: The Great War is made of this trope. It's set in an alternate World War One where the nations have developed flying naval ships to do battle, allowing them to do battle over the entire world.
  • In Rocket Age they're used for navigating the atmospheres of Jupiter where a rocket-ship may ignite a gas pocket. There are also convertables, rocket-ships that can deploy balloons and propellers to become an airship. The Jovians one-up this by having airships that float without balloons. Their cities also count, being domed airships that hide deeper in the atmosphere. The H'Slit Venusian nations use stone, leather and wood gliders and sail-craft to travel between the peaks of their home mountain range.
  • Space 1889 has many of these, usually of flying battleship variety. Some of them are actually regular navy ships modified for aerodynamics and fitted with anti-gravitic propulsion. On Venus there the anti-gravity liftwood deteriorates very quickly, there are also traditional Zeppelins, before they came into being historically.
  • Twilight: 2000: "Airlords of the Ozarks" has the players, having returned to the U.S.A., recruited to investigate what turned out to be a neo-fascist movement using airships for raids to build a power base.
  • Warhammer: Age of Sigmar: The Kharadron Overlords, one of the main duardin (dwarf) factions, make heavy use of steampunk airships, ranging from the Grundstok Gunhauler, a two-man gunboat small enough to be included in the Kharadron starter set, to the massive Arkanaut Ironclad, an airship so cool that some fans have compared it to a "flying Baneblade". Even bigger ones are stated to exist in the fluff, but they are considered Awesome, but Impractical in-universe and so are rarely used.

    Theme Parks 
  • Disney Theme Parks: In the original Journey into Imagination, Dreamfinder rides around on a balloon-powered vehicle, that also works something like a vacuum cleaner to collect ideas that spark the imagination.

    Urban Legend 
  • At the close of the 19th century, decades before the modern UFO phenomenon started, there was the bizarre phenomenon of people sighting a mysterious, impossibly fast airship all across the United States. The Mystery Airship stories are all the more striking because of how closely they parallel the flying saucer stories of more recent times... except nobody claimed it was a spaceship; it was explicitly a blimp. A small percentage of people claimed to have actually made seen the crew and even talked to them, and while they were often described as "foreign," they were consistently human. At least one man even claimed to have met the person who invented the airship, but when said inventor never appeared he was ridiculed. It all has a very Jules Verne feel to it.

    Video Games 
  • The final stage of 64th Street: A Detective Story is set on the villains' airship, as Rick and Allen infiltrates the ship to find the billionaire's kidnapped daughter.
  • Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere has the UI-series blimps; the UI-4052 Cralias (misspelling of Clarias, genus of catfish), which was hijacked by a terrorist group carrying a bioweapon, and the infinitely cooler UI-4053 Sphyrna (named after a genus of hammerhead sharks), which is a heavily armed and armored Airborne Aircraft Carrier. It became the symbol of a late game terrorist organization and its de facto moving HQ. All endings require you to destroy this beast, and it houses two of the game's most powerful (read: toughest to beat) planes: the Wave-Motion Gun-equipped MacGuffin plane X-49 Raven and the Big Bad's Super Prototype UI-4054 Aurora. Part of the difficulty downing the blimp is that, unlike other airborne things in game, you need to target its weapons systems, sub-engines and finally main engine for it to go down, at least for the current mission.
  • The last Sahara side story in Agent Intercept, "Sky Hunter," has the Svartálfar, a zeppelin with light-bending stealth technology and a silent-propulsion missile system. When Mad Bomber Darius Squib heard about the latter function, he volunteered for the fuel transportation mission.
  • In Angry Birds 2, the boss pigs fly around on a rickety airship that looks like something out of Bad Piggies. Whenever you beat one of them, the next in line will fly away with the eggs.
  • Bioshock Infinite: Most ships, but particularly Comstock's ship, the giant battleship Hand of the Prophet, and the First Lady — which doesn't have much coolness on the performance side of things, except for being able to fly itself to any point on the planet, but it sure looks cool with its gold finish and the portrait of lady Comstock on the side.
  • Bonanza Bros.: This is Mobo and Robo's getaway vehicle of choice in their robberies. After they've got all the evidence/goods they need to collect, they have to get up onto the roof of the building, where the airship will be waiting to pick them up.
  • Boogie Wings have a level called "Transporter" where you infiltrate the Mad Scientist main villain's heavily-armoured airship base and kick ass from within, only for the ship to suddenly lose altitude while you're on board, leading to a thrilling Escape Sequence. You can also hijack smaller, one-person mobile airships late into the game.
  • CarnEvil: The final level takes place aboard Ludwig Von Tökkentäkker's airship. You end up fighting him (and a large number of skeletons) aboard it.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert Series: The Kirov airship, sporting shark-decals, has innate regeneration and drops extremely devastating bombs on the enemy. A veteran Kirov starts dropping Tesla bombs.
  • In Crash Bandicoot Neo Cortex owns a purple airship that is armed with a gattling gun. This is often used as his main form of ariel transport when he isn't using his hoverboard.
  • Crimson Skies features flying airships, heroic pilots in tiny planes and a world centered around air commerce and piracy. The two videogames focus on protagonist Nathan Zachery, leader of the Fortune Hunters, who steals a flying airship named the Pandora early on and uses it as home base and a flying carrier for the rest of his adventures. Other groups are seen with their own cool airships.
  • Dance Central: The final stage in Dance Central 2, aptly named "The Airship", is a giant airship with dozens of monitors, speaker, floor to ceiling windows, and a technicolor dance floor.
  • Donkey Kong Country:
    • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest: The Flying Krock, shaped like an island-sized crocodile and serves as the last level for the main story.
    • DK: King of Swing: King K. Rool's K. Kruizer III is the final level of the game where Donkey Kong must defeat the King of the Kremling Krew in order to reclaim the last of the Jungle Jam Tournament's stolen medals. The sequel has its successor, the King Kruiser IV.
  • Drakengard doesn't give the player a cool airship, since they ride atop a dragon, however later air battles feature enemy airships which must be destroyed section by section, engine by engine.
  • Fallout 4 has the Prydwen, a nuclear-powered airship which serves as the mobile base of the Brotherhood of Steel, and is also an Airborne Aircraft Carrier with docking space for the Brotherhood's Vertibirds. The only way to access it is by Vertibird from the Brotherhood's airport base or called in by flare from anywhere in the Commonwealth.
  • Final Fantasy: The games have all had airships right from the very first game. Having said that, some are a lot more notable than others:
    • Final Fantasy III has four. The simple nameless airship owned by Cid, which is destroyed early on. The Enterprise, which starts as a normal ship, and is later modified to be able to switch between sailing and flying, and which is later shot down over Saronia. The Nautilus, which is eventually modified to be able to go underwater as well. And last but certainly not least, the Invincible, a monstrously huge airship which, while lacking speed and the ability to go underwater, contains beds for healing, shops, and a Fat Chocobo, and can pass over mountain ranges. The Invincible is also the first airship in the series that you can actually explore as an area. Interestingly enough, you don't lose the Nautilus once you get the Invincible.
    • Final Fantasy IV has Baron's armed airship fleet, which is what enables Baron to become the most powerful nation in the game and gather the crystals from other places. Cid's Airship, the Enterprise is a basic model but his second airship, The Falcon, gets a giant drill on the front to bore through the earth. Even better is the Lunar Whale, while technically a Cool Starship only ever travels to the moon and otherwise behaves just like the airship as well as a portable inn & item storage
    • Final Fantasy V's airship, while it doesn't get a fancy name (it's simply called "the airship" because it's unique), has the ability to change between airship, regular ship and submarine forms. And comes with its own helipad-equipped Elaborate Underground Base.
    • Final Fantasy VI has Setzer's Blackjack, which not only is a speedy airship but also doubles as a flying casino (sadly no minigames) and bachelor pad. The second airship found in the game, the Falcon, is faster but significantly less stylish.
    • Final Fantasy VII has the Highwind, which in addition to serving as the Global Airship, also is used to air-drop the party into Midgar.
    • Final Fantasy VIII has two, sort of. The first is the Balamb Garden itself, which hovers above the ground a little and is fairly unique among airships in that its also a flying military academy... the coolness of the craft is debatable. However the second airship is the Ragnarok, which is much smaller than the Garden, but has a sleek design, a forward mounted gatling gun, grappler claws, and is capable of space flight, and serves as much more so the 'cool' ship of the game... not to mention it looks like a dragon.
    • Final Fantasy X has an airship that looks more Cool Starship than airship. You can walk it's corridors containing many characters or just use the GPS navigation system to get around the game world (no manual flying, sorry).
    • Final Fantasy XIII has the Palamecia, a truly massive Airborne Aircraft Carrier that is bristling with energy weapons.
    • Final Fantasy XIV has the Enterprise, Cid Garlond's personal airship which he uses to help the heroes travel to dangerous or far-off locations. Some in-game mounts also count, including manacutters and the Falcon.
    • In Final Fantasy XV, the Nifelheim Empire has a battalion of Cool Airships. After beating the game, you can also upgrade your car, the Regalia, into a Cool Aircar.
  • In Granblue Fantasy, you and your crew get around the world with an airship called the Grandcypher, through the Crew/Guild system you can also get the Dravenspirit, Frontier, and Engella, though they only receive passing mention in the main story.
  • In Grand Poo World 3, Mario finds an airship early on, and can use it to traverse the main overworld of the game. The airship even comes with its own radio that has multiple songs to play.
  • Guild Wars 2:
    • The Pact airships, built to shoot down dragons and the Pact flagship, an immense airship built with significantly higher tech equipped with a Wave-Motion Gun that chases down one of the Big Bad dragon lords of the game in a sequence that is entirely original. Stolen Pact airships are also used by the the Aetherblade.
    • Scarlet Briar had the massive Breachmaker, a massive flying drill half the size of a city, which she used to rupture a leyline in the bay outside Lion's Arch.
  • Guilty Gear has the Mayship, which belongs to Johnny and his all-female Badass Crew, the Jellyfish Pirates. The Mayship's Rule of Cool is turned up a notch in May's new Instant Kill in Xrd -Sign-, where she and April use its main cannon to shoot May's opponent off the stage and win the round. It receives an upgrade in -STRIVE-, making it greatly resemble a giant flying robotic whale complete with realistic tail and fin movements. It even comes with a huge armada of robotic dolphins, turtles, jellyfish, and other assorted sea creatures flying beside it, turning its stage into an aerial aquarium.
  • Guns of Icarus Online is all about flying fantastic airships into battle with other cool airships.
  • Henry Stickmin Series: The Toppat Clan owns one, and the entire fourth game in the series, Infiltrating the Airship, centers around trying to sneak on board of it with different goals.
  • Downplayed in Kingdom Wars 2 from Springcomes, the Battleship is a Super Legendary unit and it's description mentions how this blimp was made by top inventors. Unfortunately what it actually is, is a 3rd rate bomber, periodically dropping bombs directly below it. This means units that aren't stationary can often avoid the worst of its attacks and since it can't fly directly over an enemy castle, it causes minimum damage only thru splash damage while taking direct fire from enemy defence. The Eagle Shooter meanwhile is a Rare unit that's Boring, but Practical. It's an unimpressive-looking hot air balloon with an automatic ballista which gives it some range.
  • Kirby:
    • Meta Knight's Iconic Face Ship, the Halberd, features bat-wings and its own Wave-Motion Gun, and a reactor powered by Wheelies. The battleship appears in what is arguably the most intense mode of the original Kirby Super Star. But what kind of weirdo puts his face on the bow of a ship, anyway?
    • Magolor’s ship, the Lor Starcutter, is capable of traveling between dimensions. It appears in a few games starting with Kirby's Return to Dream Land, in which it crashes at the start of the game, and Magolor asks for the heroes’ help in rebuilding it. It acts as the game’s central hub, and the main objective for most of the rest of the game is to gather the ship’s parts. When Magolor betrays you, he flies off with it. When the heroes give chase, you’re forced to tear apart the ship you spent so long building before you can engage directly with Magolor.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Divine Beast Vah Medoh is an airship shaped like a giant bird. It is initially seen circling around Rito Village and keeping them from flying too high lest it shoot at them with its laser cannons. Once it has been subdued, it will perch above their village.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has the Stormwind Ark, also called the Wind Temple. This one looks more like a traditional water-based rowing ship, but in the sky. It's surrounded by lots of smaller airships that have huge trampolines on their decks. Link and Tulin travel up to the Stormwind Ark, climbing up Sky Islands and bouncing off the airship trampolines, because it's at the center of the blizzard vortex that is devastating Rito Village and seems to have some connection to the storm.
  • Nefarious: The Villain Protagonist Crow has a massive airship called The Sovereign, which acts as the game's central hub.
  • Neopets: One of the plots involved a Lutari explorer who travelled in a pretty neat flying ship.
  • Oddworld: Due to the apparent absence of all aerodynes bar the helicopter backpacks, almost all flying things will be aircraft.
    • Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee: The beginning of the game features the titular Munch escaping from the giant floating facility Vykker's Labs. The facility is shaped like a flying saucer and is large enough to block out a decent portion of the sky when it flies overhead.
    • Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath: During the siege of Last Legs, various blimps are used as deployment vehicles, all coming from a floating mothership hovering above.
    • Oddworld: Soulstorm: Molluck chases the Rupture Farms escapees across Mudos in a blimp vaguely shaped after a Glukkon's head, adorned with a bust of his own head above the cockpit window. Apparently the owners of the big factories of Mudos all have their own blimps, each with their factory's logo imprinted on the balloon fabric. In addition, it is revealed that the ideal retirement for these Big Cheeses is to live out the rest of their days on a luxury blimp-yacht.
  • Schizm: Mysterious Journey: A small airship that Sam Mainey fills up with collected gas. It visually resembles a catfish, its mouth acts as the boarding stairs, and navigation is simply achieved by entering three individual coordinates and the push of a button, much like Hannah Grant's living ship.
  • Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: The Gravship air-unit chassis may not immediately appear to be an airship...until you realize that it's a heavier-than air airship using Anti-Gravity as a replacement for helium. Look at the model: giant ducted fans on either side — just like a real airship. At this point it becomes really impressive.
  • Skies of Arcadia has all kinds of airships, but by far the coolest is the Delphinus, a Super Prototype battleship that your characters steal about halfway through the game. In a world where the majority of airships resemble old wooden sailing ships or World War I-era destroyers, the Delphinus is a sleek and angular death machine based on WWII-era battleships and armed to the teeth with cannons, magic cannons, torpedoes, and a Wave-Motion Gun to make the Yamato green with envy. Crew must also be recruited from around the world to man this fortress.
  • Snoopy vs. the Red Baron has the Red Baron's Flying Fortress, a massive armored airship shaped like an eagle. It packs a lot of heat, serves as a flying aircraft carrier, and carries an ICBM. The unofficial sequel, Snoopy Flying Ace has a couple. The Germans have their Dreadnoughts (their levels are all called "Zeppeligeddon"), a cool three-headed steampunk airship that deploys squads of fighters and has a forcefield (unfortunately it can't actually move with the shields up and has to drop it to advance on its bombing targets. The Allies also get missions where they ride in their own airships (in co-op one player is a top gunner and the other is a bomber), though these airships aren't quite as cool.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog has numerous examples, but the most notable is probably Dr. Eggman's "Egg Carrier" from Sonic Adventure. Not only is it large, but it can even transform, making it harder to reach the captain's room. Additionally, exploring the adventure field it features a swimming pool, a chao garden, a whack-a-mole minigame, and even a bedroom and toy room (this is Eggman we're talking about here...).
  • SPY Fox: William the Kid has a "giant, metallic getaway blimp" which shows up at the end of Spy Fox in Dry Cereal. Given the cartoony setting, it flies using propellers on the top of the craft itself, and the ejection seat is operated using a toaster.
  • State of Survival: Zombie War (its most current name) from FunPlus International AG, is set in a Zombie Apocalypse where even with a vast number of heroes rising up, including guest stars such as the Joker, Dale from The Walking Dead and characters from Resident Evil, humanity was struggling in a war against the heavily mutated undead. That is unitl the turning point for humanity, your science team develop high-tech zeppelins packed with bombs, rockets, cannons and autocannons to blast zombies from the safety of the skies rather than sending Mad Max-style ragtag armies of "infantry" that end up filling your hospitals with casualties. At least that's what was advertised.
  • Steam Defense from MadSword Studio, is set in a distant future where humans have combined Steampunk with technology of The Future to reach a level analogous to Avatar. The Airship is humanity's ultimate non-Hero Unit, besides being extremely durable and fairly well-armoured, it also boasts multiple rapid-fire missile launchers to devastate both ground and air units. The airship also bears a unique high-tech appearance as its balloon is encased in armour.
  • Stormwinds: Several mooks are huge airships or giant flying ships. They tend to have lots of health and firepower, as well as helium balloons that carry them up. Shooting them in the helium balloons causes them to take massive damage.
  • Super Mario Bros. has plenty of examples, mostly due to the Koop Troop:
    • Bowser himself has his personal airship from The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, becoming game canon from the Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 onwards, it stands out from the others by way of not only being much larger, but having busts of his head at the front and back. Super Mario Odyssey gives it further embellishments along with a shiny new white and purple paintjob in honor of the Koopa King's wedding.
    • Super Mario Bros. 3 features the Koopalings with fleets of airships. The castle levels have Mario or Luigi having to storm the fleet to make their way to the ship the Koopaling is hiding in. It's also the source of one of the most epic themes in the series. Several of the game worlds also feature standalone airship levels that will appear on the map after some time. Later, New Super Mario Bros. U would give each of the Koopalings their own personal airship modeled after Bowser's, though you only ever get to see one room (and not even that for the last two).
    • Bowser Jr. had a petite airship in Super Mario Galaxy, though he swaps it out for a flying Robot Cockpit in Super Mario Galaxy 2. Paper Mario: Sticker Star features "Bowser Jr.'s Flotilla", an airship equipped with a Banzai Bill cannon at the front instead of a bust. Jr. is also usually in charge of his father's airship.
    • The first two Mario & Luigi games had the Koopa Cruiser, another personal airship of Bowser's that has a more distinct appearance compared to the galleons that the Koopa Troop usually use. Additionally, Superstar Saga and Paper Jam have Bowser's Castle converted into a flying fortress.
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane: The Flying Galleus and Flying Line Galleus are haunted sailing ships that fly. They even serve as the undead siege unit.
  • Wild ARMs 3 features a quest to find and defeat a mystical dragon which actually turns out to be a giant flying, sleek, mechanical aircraft from the past , possibly also a transforming giant robot.
  • Wolfenstein (2009): The Zeppelin used by the occult-Nazis is like a dark, gritty, realistic version of kilometer-long Castle Wulfenbach, the page image. Naturally, it's also an Airborne Aircraft Carrier, and becomes a literal example of Zeppelins from Another World as it tears open a rift to another dimension.
  • The Wonderful 101 has the Virgin Victory, the CENTINELS base and main form of transportation. It can also be fired like a gun.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Orgrim's Hammer and the Skybreaker, airships used by Horde and Alliance as bases of operation in Icecrown in Wrath of the Lich King are pretty cool. The Hammer boat with a pair of Zeppelin blimps tied to it with nothing but Rule of Cool, while the Skybreaker is essentially a large ship with propellers fitted on it.
    • More ships of the same models appear in Deepholm in Cataclysm, the Horde's having been shot down when the Alliance's was taken over by cultists.
    • Another Alliance airship, the Skyfire, is in the final battle with Deathwing, chasing him when he flees to the Maelstrom. In Mists of Pandaria it battles the Horde in Pandaria, and later in Legion, when the Horde destroy it.
    • In the Pandaren starting zone, the Wandering Isle, when is actually a giant turtle named Shen-zin Su, a crashed Alliance airship named the Skyseeker injures said turtle.


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Archer: "Skytanic" has the Excellsior, the captain of which even constantly corrects Archer that "it's a rigid airship!" While the Excellsior advertises itself as the "pampered luxury of a cruise ship [meeting] the smoothness of modern air travel", the impracticality of airships is noted by Archer, who points out that they are only marginally faster than cruise ships and far slower than airplanes.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • The Fire Nation airships, which can bombard enemy positions and even hurl bombs like missiles while defending themselves with conventional Firebending by the crews that pilot them. Also of note is the airship that serves as the personal flagship of Fire Lord Ozai in the Sozin's Comet finale, which is three times the size of a conventional airship and whose nose takes the form of an ornate golden phoenix while the rest have noses in the form of a dragon's head.
    • In The Legend of Korra, airship travel has become commonplace with more modern versions serving as patrol vessels for the police forces of Republic City and as transports for Equalist forces in their fight against benders. By Book 3, Team Avatar travels around in their own luxury airship, provided by Asami.
  • Care Bears & Cousins has the Cloud Clipper, a ship that literally flies through the skies and allows the cousins to carry out their job.
  • The Crumpets has a blimp that looks like Caprice (nose and hair included) in the episode "Going Viral", when Caprice's fans dispatch it to rescue her from her final suicide attempt.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Airships in the form of large gasbags with gondolas slung underneath appear from time to time, and are generally associated with luxury in some for. "Sweet and Elite" shows one being inaugurated with a champagne bottle at a high-class event, while "Once Upon a Zeppelin" has another used for a luxury cruise that operates very much the same way as luxury cruise ships in real life.
  • Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery: KISS have one shaped like a guitar that can also travel through dimensions.
  • TaleSpin: The Iron Vulture, used by the Air Pirates led by Don Karnage, functions as a battleship and flying carrier in several episodes. It often has to be infiltrated by the heroes for one reason or another.

    Real Life 
  • The Hindenburg is an example. Stunningly luxurious, it was a massive commercial airship made for Trans-Atlantic voyages. It was — and remains to this day — the largest and most spacious aircraft ever built(the A deck alone had more floor space than an entire Airbus A380).The Hindenburg boasted a dining room served by four chefs from gourmet restaurants, a bar with a glass floor, promenades with huge tilted windows that could be opened in flight, staterooms reminiscent of the sleeping car on a luxury train, a double grand staircase, a smoking lounge inside its own airlock, a small library and writing room, a huge stylized mural of the world with moving ships and Zeppelins that tracked the journey of the airship, and even a piano lounge. It also carried unusual cargo, such as live animals, a luxury car and even Jimmy Haizlip's racing airplane. In 1936, it was the fastest and most comfortable way across the Atlantic, and was considered the airship to end all airships. Unfortunately, it was filled with extremely flammable Hydrogen instead of the inert Helium it was designed for (at the time, the US had a near-monopoly on the world's helium supply, and they weren't exactly inclined to sell to the Nazis). We all know how it ended.
  • The Graf Zeppelin is the memetic god of this trope. Built in the late '20s, it was a prototype airship intended to train crews and test the viability of a transoceanic airliner, something that had never been built before. To illustrate its focus on prototyping rather than commercial operations, it carried a mere 20 passengers in Pullman-style luxury, contrasted with the crew of 40 or more. However, the Graf Zeppelin ended up going on spectacular adventures it had never been designed for; it circumnavigated the globe several times faster than the airplanes before it, it went on a journey to the North Pole, it explored remote and uncharted areas, it visited cities and monuments around the world, eventually it would settle into the first commercial transatlantic route, flying from Rio to Berlin. After more than a decade of service, it was the most successful Zeppelin of all time, flying more than a million miles and transporting tens of thousands of passengers in perfect safety, despite being filled with the hydrogen that doomed the Hindenburg.
  • The US Navy operated six rigid-hulled airships, all but two of them lost in a variety of accidents or bad weather. Three of the better known to this day are the USS Macon, USS Los Angeles and USS Akron, which were also Airborne Aircraft Carriers. Los Angeles is noteworthy for being almost a carbon copy of the Graf Zeppelin, having been built by the Zeppelin Company as partial payment of Germany's war reparations.
    • While none of the rigid-hulled airships stayed in service long enough to serve in World War II, a wide variety of non-rigid blimps served in maritime patrol duties throughout the war, keeping an eye out for German U-Boats that preyed on Allied shipping. They were spectacularly successful, and had the best mission readiness of any air unit in the military at the time. A large part of what made them effective was the lack of German airpower in the Atlantic. They were used less often in the Pacific because Japan, unlike Germany, had a formidable naval air force.
    • In fact, in the modern day, airship-like balloons called aerostats are used as floating radar towers. Essentially a blimp without engines, they are tethered to the ground, allowed to rise up to about 15,000 feet above the ground, and scan for aircraft or ground vehicles for hundreds of miles in all directions. Unlike an Airborne Early Warning System plane, they don't need fuel or crew to stay aloft, so they are very cost effective as long as you don't need to move them.
  • Modern hybrid airships being built, like the examples in the page description. These are just the tip of the iceberg, eventually the companies building them are going to scale up to large airships that will be used as cargo ships, cruise liners, firefighting ships, and long-endurance surveillance vessels. Some cool hybrid airships of note that are about to be flight tested from around 2013-2015 are the Lockheed-Martin "Skytug," which serves the same role "as a supersized cargo helicopter, but at a tenth the cost," the HAV "Airlander 50" cargo ship, the solar-powered "Solar Ship," and the "Aeroscraft" variable-buoyancy airship.
  • The Norge. in 1926, it became the first ever aircraft of any kind to make the grueling, dangerous trek to the North Pole in an epic exploration of uncharted lands. The Norge itself was a relatively small semi-rigid airship, unlike the leviathan Graf Zeppelin which later explored the Arctic, which makes the feat even more impressive.
  • The British R34, though fairly plain compared to some fictional examples and, going by accounts from its crew, somewhat unpleasant to live on, nonetheless deserves a mention here due to its place as one of the unsung heroes of aviation history. It was the first ever aircraft to fly east-to-west across the Atlantic, making it from East Fortune in Scotland to Mineola, Long Island after 108 hours of flying against the prevailing wind and putting up with a stowaway, terrible weather and troublesome engines. R34 was longer than a dreadnought battleship. Her unofficial name? "Tiny." She also had a resident tabby kitten named "Whoopsie" and the sailors liked playing jazz on the ship's gramophone.
  • There used to be a Californian firm that owned an authentic Zeppelin and would allow its customers to pilot it (after some training, naturally.) Sadly, they've now gone out of business — their Zeppelin failed to secure an advertiser, their primary source of revenue. The airship is being shipped back to Germany. On the bright side, Goodyear is currently building three authentic Zeppelins of a similar type.
  • Ron Paul, one of the 2012 candidates for the Republican nomination for the American presidency leased a Skyship 600 for his campaign, one of the largest, fastest, most luxurious blimps on the market. It is essentially the private jet of blimps, and definitely a Cool Airship.
  • The company JP Aerospace runs airships that send various payloads (science projects for students, cameras for media organizations) into the upper atmosphere, higher than most other airships fly. They're also working on airships that could send payloads to orbit. Specifically, their plan is to have three different types of airships: an Ascender that operates from ground level to an altitude of 140,000 feet; an Orbital Ascender that operates from 140,000 feet to orbitnote ; and a Dark Sky Station that floats at 140,000 feet, where the Orbital Ascender would be constructed and where payloads would be transferred from the Ascender to the Orbital Ascender.



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Kirov Airship

Fearsome war-zeppelins boasting self-sealing armor and vast stores of heavy iron bombs.

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