Shenandoah Airships is the premier airship manufacturer of the Empire State, and possibly the superior manufacturer in North America. It was founded in 1922 by Frank McCray, Shenandoah were notable for their exclusive use of helium rather than hydrogen as a lifting gas in their airships, a courageous decision at that time, when helium was in very limited supply.
In 1928, Shenandoah Airships merged with the Colorado Lifting Gas Company, a private mining enterprise extracting helium to fuel the rising zeppelin industry. The merger allowed for the continuation of both brandings, but CLGC provided helium for the exclusive use of Shendandoah Airships.
In 1931, Shenandoah unveiled their new Excelsior-class zeppelin, a revolutionary design. The Excelsior-class was designed to be faster, cheaper to run, and better-armed than any competing airship, and was unique in offering an interior hanger capacity in a civilian airship. While Excelsior-class zeppelins are unusual outside of the Empire State, at least one, once the Empire Air zeppelin Fulcurm, is now the Pandora, the zeppelin of the Fortune Hunters.
Shenandoah have continued to grow over the years, their exceptional R&D division producing advances on a regular basis. Shenandoah's policy of subsidised upgrades for fleet owners has made them popular with large cargo concerns, although their largest customer remains Empire Air.