There's a surprising lack of Zeppelins these days.

People can walk. Most people can swim, and most of those can dive (at least a
few meters). For us humans it's not hard to learn how to dive or sprint, and I'm
thankful for that. We have mastered almost every form of transportation there is
in the animal kingdom. But one is missing: Flying.

Be honest: Have you ever dreamed you could fly? It would make things so much
easier and more fun. And that feeling of freedom and joy when you majestically
glide through the air...

Unfortunately our bodies are not made for flying. But there's another thing we
humans are great at: Building machines. So it's no wonder why mankind tried to
invent a "flying apparatus" for quite a
[long time](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonardo_da_Vinci#Engineering_and_inventions).
And ultimately, just a little over 100 years ago, we
[conquered the sky](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wright_Flyer).

Since then many things changed. Today enthusiasts have access to high-tech
materials and electronics so advanced our ancestors would claim it is magic.
But the desire to build something that can fly and "get up there" is still
present. So naturally in recent years the market for little drones (copters) has
massively increased for both hobbyists and professionals. The most common form
being a quadrocopter, often with RC and sometimes a built-in camera module.
And **many** tinkerers have built their own little flying contraptions, but
almost always as some sort of "copter-platform".

Which brings me to an interesting question: Why is nobody considering Zeppelins?

I mean, yeah, these airships haven't exactly proven to be safe for public
transportation. But that's mainly because they used to be filled with hydrogen.
You see: A Zeppelin is basically just a more advanced hot-air balloon. A hot-air
balloon will fly since the hot air inside the balloon has a lower density than
the air surrounding it. Since you are displacing something heavy with something
lighter, you get uplift. But hot-air balloons need to be fueled constantly.
So what if you fill the balloon with something that's lighter than air (at the
same temperature) and then close it off? Boom - a Zeppelin.

What the balloon to fill with you ask? It turns out you can use either helium
or hydrogen, since they are both really light gases. Technically there are other
alternatives as well, but your balloon would have to be gigantic to support
those. So helium or hydrogen it is.

However helium is really expensive. And hard to get in huge quantities. So
people decided to use hydrogen. A big mistake as it turned out, since if you
have even the slightest of leaks in your balloon, you've basically build a giant
oxyhydrogen bomb.

But let's get back to our amateurs at home, trying to build something that can
fly. For these people, Zeppelins would be great. You can produce your own
hydrogen at home, and even if it blows up, who cares? Nobody will be harmed by
an exploding balloon 1-2 m in size.

But even better: If your Zeppelin is just 1-2 m in size, you **can** get helium
to fill it. It won't be _that_ expensive. You can find small helium bottles
everywhere. People use it to fill regular sized colored balloons. I'm sure
you've seen this before.

A little Zeppelin filled with helium is a perfectly safe thing to tinker with.
With the help of modern materials like carbon fiber reinforced polymers and
epoxy glue, it should be a piece of cake to build one of these flying bags.
Attach some lightweight electronics to it aaand you're done. Cheaper than
copters. Easier than copters. Cooler than copters.

They require almost no moving parts and consume **much** less energy than a
copter-based design. And they are probably quite a bit less noisy.

So where the heck are all those amateurs with their Zeppelins?