Airborne Awesomosity

High Lonesome

Art is certainly a subjective medium–I have seen recent online debate as to whether LOLcats qualifies as art–but I think it is safe to say that vintage aircraft art finds itself a reasonably warm welcome around these parts. I came across these images recently, created by Matthew Porter for an piece entitled ‘High Lonesome‘. The artist’s impressions are included after the jump, but I think everyone will probably have their own take on it. For myself, I find airships, and the Hindenburg in particular, carry with them a sort of romanticism for a lost age, and that the juxtaposition of that with the rugged emptiness of the West imparts a sadness to these images, knowing what was to come.

“This work is an attempt at historical mash-up, bringing together romantic imagery of cowboys and zeppelins. Both subjects are iconic, yet their reputations have been spoiled by facts, as history overtakes myth. The Hindenburg, which began its life as the fountainhead of people’s creative and entrepreneurial vision, ended its life under the dark shroud of Nazi propaganda and a fiery death. As an icon of romantic symbolism it has been spoiled, much like the history of the American West—you can’t watch The Searchers without being aware of the racism. The cornerstone of this work is the “Library” image; the shelf containing WWII nonfiction bleeds into the shelf containing Western history, while the entire rack is peppered with fiction.” (Matthew Porter)

Images created by Matthew Porter, via, and here is the entirety of the piece: High Lonesome.

  • The Professor

    When I look at dirigibles, I think 'deathtrap'. Big, unwieldy, slow moving target, easy to shoot down. At the mercy of wind and weather, a place to die if you're caught in a storm in one.
    The pictures are nice though.

  • CaptianNemo2001

    They can, even with hydrogen filled bags, take 3-5 inch AA and keep on flying. Only the the fact that the weather can knock them out of the sky easily makes them a pain to use. Otherwise they are pretty good. They also cant go very high to avoid weather due to how gas expands and contracts… ect. Well, they can go higher then 27k feet its just a technical challenge.

  • Let's remember that the frames for rigid dirigibles were all constructed in the era before any sort of useful stress analysis modeling existed. Today, you could build one hella strong, light framing structure out of carbon fiber.

    FULL DISCLOSURE: Certifiable dirigible freak since the age of 10.