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Notwithstanding the Hindenburg’s end or the catastrophes that preceded it I’ve always been fascinated with Zeppelins. There's something that's inexplicably mesmerizing about viewing a lighter-than-air ship several city blocks in length voyaging sedately through the atmosphere. I've occasionally wondered at least a few times how I myself might have designed such a craft.

One day I was wondering this as I happened to be opening SketchUp and I thought I would spend perhaps thirty minutes quickly sketching a general outline of the outer skin. As often happens with creativity, after starting I got caught up in the spirit of what quickly became a new project and here we are with Intrepid.

A New Vision

My Adventures In SketchUp - Intrepid: A Revolution In Design - Extra Large SketchUp Screenshot Displaying Intrepid In Its Entirety. The Viewer Is Below Starboard Fore Looking Aft.

Intrepid Specifications


1,269 meters

(over 4,100 feet, or ¾ mile)


136 meters (440 feet)

Structural Framework

(Interior Supports)

37 equilaterally trussed titanium & carbon composite ring arrangements interlocked with longerons, stringers, and struts

Structural Framework

(Outer Skin)

waterproof, double-shelled

titanium and carbon composite semi-monocoque

Gas Capacity

12,500,000 cubic meters (440,000,000 cubic feet)

Gas Storage

heated airbags inside

29 vented monocoques

Total Lift

750,000,000 pounds

(340,200 metric tonnes)

Cruising Speed

144 kph (90 mph)

Maximum Speed

200 kph (125 mph)

Never Exceed Speed

281 kph (175 mph)


12 custom Cyclone twin row

18-cylinder radial prop engines

Power Supply

Six 19,200kW Wärtsiä diesels

Maneuverability & Stability

40 high-bypass

Aerojet AJ10-190 engines


150 flight officers and flight support staff

1,500 passenger support & support services staff

Passenger Accommodation

1,500 passengers

750 suites

Commercial Services

single-class luxury passenger travel

concession & subsidiary guest amenities

up to 250 metric tonnes of non-priority freight

non-priority mail

My Adventures In SketchUp - Intrepid: A Revolution In Design - Extra Large RCT3 Screenshot Displaying Intrepid In Its Entirety. The Viewer Is Fore Port And Looking Aft.

My Adventures In SketchUp - Intrepid: A Revolution In Design - An Extra Large Diagram In Parallel Projection And Drawn To Scale Displaying Intrepid In Comparison With The Hindenburg, A Boeing 747, The Titanic, And Burj Khalifa.

Nearly a third as long as New York City's Central Park, if it existed in real life Intrepid would be the largest floating object ever built by man. The gondola alone, at 255 meters (835 feet), compares in size to the Hindenburg and to the Titanic. Completely enclosed in glass, it's seven storeys in height (30 metres/90 feet).

My Adventures In SketchUp - Intrepid: A Revolution In Design - A Distant RCT3 Screenshot Displaying Intrepid's Glass Walled Gondola. The Viewer Is Below And Slightly Starboard Looking Aft Along Intrepid's Bottom.

The lower floor of the gondola is taken up by primary flight deck operations. Also within this car are the ballroom, the convention center, and the five-storey atrium/lobby/community lounge. The Atrium is located at the front of the gondola and faces forward giving exhilarating views. It's beautifully planted out, includes five forward-facing glass enclosed elevators, can additionally be accessed throughout on flying walkways & glass stairs, and features a 30m (100ft) waterfall.

The hydraulically operated wheels at the base of the gondola, wheels that are lowered and used only to confirm touch-down, are structurally connected to the ship’s interior framework by way of a reinforced suspension column built up through the gondola and connected to the airship's interior support structure. The tyres for these wheels take a 147 centimeter (58 inch) rim.

Additional passenger, crew, and staff areas are arranged over several floors that are built above the level of the gondola further up within the airship's outer skin.


Into Intrepid's outer skin a 700 meter (3,000 foot) row of floor to ceiling windows has been seamlessly set which provides breathtaking views from promenades, a variety of bars & restaurants, an assortment of lounges & clubs, the disco, day spa, and gym. Also on board is a generously sized Greek themed swimming pool with nearby surf simulator and hot tub deck. Built further within the ship are shops, salons, a cinema, casino, bowling alley, and basketball & tennis courts.

Guangzhou, Chaozhou, and Dongjiang dishes are served in the ship's elegant Cantonese restaurant within which, from all sides, may be enjoyed views of the centrally placed, octagonal, 2,000-liter exotic jellyfish aquarium.

Elsewhere on the ship are rock climbing, mini golf, go karts, bumper cars, a (synthetic) ice skating rink, children’s day care, and a medical center. It almost goes without saying that cable television and free Internet access are available on board.

While it does contain a good selection of current reading materials, whether they use their own devices or avail themselves of the dozens of PC's placed there for their use, the on-board a library seems to be the preferred place for passengers to access the Internet.

My Adventures In SketchUp - Intrepid: A Revolution In Design - A Distant RCT3 Screenshot Displaying Intrepid's Half Mile Of Panorama Viewing Glass. The Viewer Is Below And Fore Port Looking Aft.

Community Pokeno is played two evenings a week in the casino with live entertainment performed nightly on the main stage. The principal dining room adjoins the ballroom in which a live orchestra plays for several hours each evening. On Sundays from twelve ‘til three this same orchestra plays on the terrace in the ship’s Central Park. The Central Park is planted out with live vegetation and features a carousel in addition to playground equipment, a tree house, a kiddie railway, an inflated jump castle, and a three-storey fun slide that's right nearby in children's day care.

There is at least one LED video wall in each of the spacious passenger suites which makes up for the lack of individual viewports. The passenger lifts, many of the amenities, some of the public areas, Central Park, and many of the moving walkways have LED video skies along with LCD video wall panels. In addition to displaying G-Force, WhiteCap, and other fantasy/abstract images, many of the LCD panels display live images of some of the scenery outside the airship.

From nine in the morning until nine at night, shown on some of the LCD displays are telecasts made up of live on-board flight footage. Hosted by our on-board announcers, their knowledgeable commentary showcases the various shops, restaurants, and communal areas in which passengers may be observed enjoying their day-to-day.

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