[A]irships got left behind. Why? They have an Achilles’ heel. No, it’s not the weather, hydrogen, or the materials of the day—and it’s not some conspiracy or a crewman with a bomb on the Hindenburg ruining it for everybody. Like a lot of things, the facts are simple and scientific, and thus boring—unless you’re intrigued by simple scientific facts. Either way it’s this: airships are inefficient.
The purpose of transportation is to get a thing from one place to another. The measure of any vehicle’s efficiency—be it by land or by sea or even by air—is how much it carries vs. how hard you have to push it and how fast it goes. At the end of the day, we all want to get it there fast, and we all want to get it there cheap.