|This article is about 'the magazine story'. You may be looking for 'the aircraft'.|
- “Pah! Nobody is interested in a silly old balloon. You should see the new ship. Now that's what I call exciting!”
- ―Gordon to Rosie
Airship is a magazine story.
One day, Gordon is given an extra special task; he has to take the Mayor and the Fat Controller to the docks. Gordon's coaches are also packed with passengers who are travelling to the docks to see a new cruise liner being launched. The Mayor declares the ship's name, "Sodor", and everyone cheers as the ship slides down the slipway and into the water. Gordon feels very privileged; it is not everyday an engine gets to see a ship being launched.
Meanwhile, Rosie is helping out on Thomas' Branch Line by collecting some trucks from a siding. When Rosie glances up into the sky, she spots an odd shape which soon disappears behind the clouds. Rosie thinks it looked like a giant balloon.
Later, at the main station, Rosie tells Gordon about the giant balloon. Gordon insists that no one is interested in a giant balloon and suggests that Rosie should watch a ship being launched - that is what Gordon calls exciting. This upsets Rosie, who wishes she could be given special jobs like Gordon.
A few days later, the Fat Controller tells Gordon he is to go to the launch of another ship. Gordon wastes no time in boasting to Rosie about his special job. Once again, Gordon takes the Mayor to the special event, but there is a surprise awaiting Gordon. When the big engine starts on his journey, he is confused as he is heading on the tracks to the airport, not the docks.
At the airport, Gordon stares in amazement at a giant balloon. The balloon is so big it even has a passenger cabin fixed to it. The Fat Controller tells Gordon that the giant balloon is called an airship and Rosie is bringing all of the passengers for its maiden flight. Gordon has to admit that Rosie is right; people do want to see the balloon. Rosie tells Gordon that he is not the only engine with an important job to do.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- The Mayor of Sodor
- Harold (does not speak)
- Jeremy (does not speak)
- Thomas (mentioned)
- Gordon's express coaches are once referred to as "pullman coaches".
- In the seventh illustration, the end of the coaches is coloured the same colour as Rosie; presumably the illustrator mistook it for part of Rosie's cab.
- Gordon's buffers keep changing sizes throughout the story.