After the return of the great Led Zepp last year, their inflatable namesakes are making a comeback. Zeppelins are set to hove into view across the London skyline this summer, but thankfully their arrival isn't a new wave of Kaiser-directed aerial assault: they will be offering flights over the capital for tourists.
German manufacturer Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik has been granted permission by the Civil Aviation Authority to fly the distinctive dirigibles over the city. The tours, which are fronted by former Apprentice contestant Rory Laing, will cost around £150 and last an hour. Up to 12 passengers at a time will board the 250-foot long craft for a Google Earth-style view of the streets and alleyways of the city.
Unlike the Hindenburg, whose spectacular immolation was captured on cine film (and subsequently became one of the most parodied videos in history), the modern-day zeppelin is filled by helium instead of flammable hydrogen. Phew!
Zeppelins first arrived in London during the First World War, where they were used for far less benign reasons, as lumbering but deadly bombers - this plaque commemorates the tragic aftermath of one such attack. We wonder if there are any survivors from the 1910s planning to take a ride when the service starts in June.
Image of a Graf Zeppelin in 1932 from del's1's Flickrstream