The Skyship 600 is a modern airship, designed by British company Airship Industries. The first Skyship 600 made its maiden flight in November 1984. Similar in appearance to the Skyship 500, it is larger, being the world's largest currently operating non-rigid airship (also called blimps). The envelope is made of Kevlar and the gondola of composite materials. Earlier models were propelled by two Porsche 930 turboshafts, but some have been modified with Textron Lycoming IO-540 engines.

Each airship has been tailor-made to meet the needs of different customers and this results in slight variations in size, performance and cabin configuration. The most of Skyship 600 were employed for promotional campaigns, as The Spirit off Dubai.

Others were employed for the surveillance, as during the Olympic Games of summer in 2004.

The Spirit of Dubai is one of three Skyship 600 aircraft operated by Airship Management of Greenwich, CT, USA.

These ships are currently the world's largest currently operating non-rigid airships (the Zeppelin NT is a larger, but semi-rigid design.)

The airship was originally built by the Westinghouse Corporation in November 1986. In November of 2006, the ship was decorated with new artwork and flown under the name Spirit of Dubai.

The ship is planned to make a publicity tour from London to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

While cruising at 30 knots The Spirit of Dubai airship consumes 8 gallons (48 lbs) of fuel per hour. 

photo DP
Two pilots fly with the airship at all times and it can stay aloft, without refuelling, for up to 24 hours. In a week, according to the promoters, the airship will consume less fuel than a Boeing 767 uses to get from its gate to the runway.

  • Length: 216 ft 5 in
  • Height: 72 ft 2 in
  • Volume: 7,600m³
  • Cruising speed: 40 mph
  • Maximum speed: 65 mph
  • Weight: 5,500 kg when deflated
    Prior to its landmark journey from London to Dubai, the aircraft was used for sightseeing tours in Switzerland under the name Skycruiser. (Altitude from 150 to 500 m, to admire the most beautiful landscapes of Switzerland. Unrestricted view on the lakes, the mountains and the town of Lucerne.)
    At the end of July (2006) the airship go round the  Europe for the manufacturer of Skoda cars. (picture at left)

    The Spirit of Dubaï sits in Cardington Airship Hanger in preparation for her epic voyage to Dubai.  Mechanics carry out work on the Spirit Of Dubai's engine bays - 2 x 255 PS Porche engines will be fitted into the bays. 

    Once the airship envelope has been cleaned the new decal for The Palm can be applied. 
    (picture at right)
    photo DP : Crédit photos Patrick DEBETENCOURT - (de tres photos sur le dirigeables et plein d'autres sujets !)