III was designed and built, 1959-1965, a hybrid containing helium cells
in three joined hulls which formed a rectangular wing/body. It was
the first rigid airship built since the Zeppelins of the 1930’s.
It was runway-tested before being dismantled in 1967. The triple-hull
had been state-of-the-art, dating from the 1860’s when AEREON I
was built and flown over Manhattan with passengers. The inventor,
Dr. Solomon Andrews of New Jersey, coined the name, which means “AIR
AGE,” because he saw that being able to fly into the wind, in this
balloon, meant air transportation would be possible. He formed the
first U. S. air transportation company, whose motto was: “Time flies;
why not man?” President Lincoln intended demonstration flights in
Washington and asked the Army to investigate it to shorten the Civil War.
His assassination ended that prospect. Dr. Andrews eventually gave his
patents to the nations of the world to benefit humanity.