The large white ship, with an American flag on its tail, landed at about 3:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon, a little behind schedule due to thunderstorms in the area. The ship is in transit between Hot Springs, Ark., and Huntsville, Ala., and is stopping in Tupelo for the night.
The pilot and co-pilot will depart for Alabama this morning.
"This ship is mainly used for air shows," said Josh Abramson, director of the Tupelo airport. "They did fly a mission down to the Gulf Coast during the oil spill."
The airship flew near the landing strip about three times, each time with the two pilots waving out to their audience below.
The pilots flew the airship around for about an hour, waiting on the arrival of their 25-member ground crew, before landing.
"They were basically goofing off," Abramson said. "They're just playing around."
The crew made sure the ship was tethered to the ground, but winds from a rainstorm to the south of the airport caused the ship to float around.
After it landed, a group of area Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts toured the ship.
- The airship travels at about 40 knots, or 46 miles per hour.
- The ship is filled with helium.
- The Navy uses such airships for research and development.