Airship design leans more heavily on aerodynamic theory than does airplane design. Individual airships are much larger and more expensive than airplanes; the completed airship structure can much less readily be modified after its completion, so that the trial and error method is practically not as available for airships as for airplanes; furthermore, there is available comparatively much less experience from earlier airships because not many have been built, and even wind tunnel tests, although they have always been diligently undertaken, carry less persuasion in consequence of the larger scale effect and the larger sensitivity to such effect and to other doubt-inviting factors. All this is indicative of the need of a further development of airship aerodynamics as a foundation for further progress in the construction of large airships. Moreover, since airship design draws on the whole domain of aerodynamics and since special airship aerodynamics should contain as its most notable problem the full analysis of airship drag, it seems quite possible that from airship theory may some day come forward such fundamental progress in aerodynamics as shall revolutionize our technique of air travel.
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