|“||It's a dirigible!...Airplanes are a thing of the past!||”|
–Izzy Buttons to Rick O'Connell, The Mummy Returns
After Izzy Buttons had lost his airplane in a poker game, he had been compelled to find another means of transportation, which lead to the creation of the dirigible. The dirigible was moored at what was once the Royal Air Corps headquarters (since Izzy Buttons had come along, the Royal Air Corps head quarters had become the Magic Carpet Airways), and was tested by Izzy himself, who claimed that the airship was faster than it appeared and was quiet enough to sneak on people from above.
Izzy Buttons was approached by Rick O'Connell, an old acquaintance of his from years before, who sought a transport that would take O'Connell, along with his wife Evelyn, her brother Jonathan and a warrior named Ardeth Bay, to Karnak so as to rescue O'Connell's son Alex O'Connell from a group of cultists headed by a reanimated mummy called Imhotep, but due to certain events in the past that had led to Izzy being shot in the hindquarters, Izzy declined. O'Connell bribed Izzy at first with money, which he turned down, until O'Connell offered Izzy a certain golden sceptre, which changed his mind quickly. Taking the travellers to the hangar where the aircrafts were kept, Izzy showed O'Connell the dirigible, which O'Connell derided, but was convinced to to board when he learned that it could travel quickly and make no noise with its engines, enabling it to sneak up on people.
The dirigible left the airfield with O'Connell and the others, with Izzy at its helm. The dirigible reached the pyramids at Giza and many miles of Egyptian land; one night, as the dirigible flew in the skies, Evelyn O'Connell, who was aboard the craft, was caught in a trance when she had been placed under and almost fell from the dirigible to the ground far below. The other passengers helped her back up before she fell completely, and began to understand why Evelyn was having her visions: Evelyn O'Connell was a reincarnated ancient Egyptian princess named Nefertiri many years ago, and the events in her vision had occurred when she was princess.
The dirigible flew on before finally reaching Karnak, where it moored, and continued its vision once a clue to the whereabouts of Alex had been found; the clue took the form of a small sand castle and indicated that he was being taken by the cultists to the temple island of Philae. The dirigible and its passengers had reached Philae and found the next clue: a sand replica of Abu Simbel, which was visited by the dirigible before being directed to the next clue: a replica of the Blue Nile. The dirigible and its passengers had reached a series of canyons carved by the river and noted that they were far out of modern Egypt, though still in what was once the ancient Egyptian kingdom, indicating that the Oasis of Ahm Shere, their final destination, was close by.
The leader of the cultists, the reanimated mummy called Imhotep, however, had spotted the dirigible flying some time back and to rid himself of its passengers, Imhotep conjured up a massive wall of water from the Blue Nile that took his face and chased after the dirigible, forcing it to escape through the canyon walls and risk being broken. Izzy navigated the craft through the canyons, activating its booster engines, and successfully left the watery wall behind for a moment, long enough for Jonathan to spot the Oasis of Ahm Shere in the distance from the canyon. At that moment, however, the wall of water returned and after chasing the dirigible long enough, brought it down once its engines had overheated.
The dirigible had been brought down; its trawler had been broken up, and the attached balloon had been deflated, though the wall of water had provided some cushion from the fall back down to Earth. O'Connell, Evelyn, Jonathan and Ardeth left into the jungles so as to find Alex, and O'Connell ordered Izzy to stay behind and repair the craft, but Izzy insisted that without gas, the dirigible would not fly: hot air was a substitute, but much of it would be needed to bring the craft back up. From the wreck of the trawler, Jonathan managed to pilfer back his gold sceptre and hide it in his jacket pocket.
After some time alone, Izzy repaired the dirigible and brought it back up in time to rescue O'Connell, Evelyn, Jonathan and Alex, who stood atop the golden pyramid as the Oasis around them was being sucked into the gold structure. Izzy brought the four survivors back up in time, save for Jonathan, who fell overboard for a moment and almost was dropped into the disappearing jungle, but was quickly brought back up as he managed to retrieve the giant gold-coated diamond atop the pyramid just as it disappeared as well as the jungles had. Jonathan had successfully taken the diamond and had been brought back up the trawler, and the O'Connell family regrouped happily as they watched down below that the Medjai warriors, led by Ardeth Bay, were leaving the deserts after having defeated their enemies, the Army of Anubis. With its passengers aboard, the dirigible headed back to civilisation.
Years later, the dirigible was mentioned directly in Evelyn O'Connell's novels that she had written based on her experiences in the past.
Design and appearance
|“||...a gold-hued dirigible-small for a dirigible, but looming just the same. The blimp floated, held down by mooring lines, and slung to its underbelly was a decrepit fishing trawler that had seen two centuries-an airplane propellor extended itself rudely from the rear of the boat engine.||”|
–The description given of the dirigible, The Mummy Returns (novelization)
The dirigible was constructed in a makeshift manner, with several different patches of fabric stitched together to construct the blimp, which was filled with gas rather than hot air; though gas was needed to lift the dirigible, hot air could be substituted, though many cubic metres would be needed for it. The basket of the dirigible was the remains of an old fishing trawler that was about two hundred years old, and was strewn with frayed fishing nets. The dirigible was powered by an airplane propellor that stuck out far from the boat's engine.
Behind the Scenes
The dirigible was made possible by constructing a fishing trawler that the actors would stand and act in, while the craft was computer animated.