AirshipBack to Objects Main > Airship
Real Identity: Not Applicable
Appearances (BTAS): Showdown
Powers/Skills: Transportation, Flight, and Artillery Fire
Voiced By: Not Applicable
On December 2, 1783, Lieutenant Jean Baptiste Marie Meusnier presented his "Memorandum on the balance of aerostatic machines" to the French Academy. This became the basis for the production of airships across the world. Meusnier's design envisioned the airship as a typical water-based boat with rudders and propellers and lifted with internal ballonnets. Into the 19th century, the airship went through various designs but in 1852, Henri Giffard presented a steam-powered dirigible. In essence, he was powering a balloon with a car engine. Coal, Hydrogen, and Electricity were other alternative fuel sources employed to power the vehicle. A navigable balloon was used by the Germans for communication during the Franco-Prussian War. However, there were many weaknesses of the airship: flammability, size, and buoyancy. Airships that used Hydrogen were often the most vulnerable to fire, such as the Hindenburg in 1937.
In 1883, Ra's Al Ghul planned to use an airship to destroy the Transcontinental Railroad and overthrow the federal government of United States of America in order to prevent further expansion efforts. Hidden in caverns near Devil's Hole in the Utah Territory, Ra's and his followers began construction in secret. Dubbed the Phoenix, the airship was believed to be a sky monster by the locals. Although most of the locals believed the monster, mysterious lights, and DuVall were all connected, the town sheriff was too afraid to investigate. In search of Arkady DuVall, Jonah Hex searched for this monster and found the Phoenix. He was captured but managed to escape, catch the Phoenix' trailing line, and stowed away on it. Before the Railroad could be christened, Ra's fired upon it with a volley of cannonballs, destroyed a train on standby, much of the town near it, and warned the people to leave through a P.A. system. Hex crippled the cannons by lighting one of the nearby bombs. He lured out DuVall, Ra's' son, and fired one of the howitzer cannons into the Hydrogen cells of the zeppelins holding the Phoenix. As the ship crashed to the ground, Ra's left on his personal glider and advised his followers to escape, too. The remains appeared to have been confiscated by the Union.