The use of thrusters at the bow and stern of an airship for control of the direction, attitude, and orientation of such an airship is described. The thruster utilizes an electric motor or a gas turbine for power. In the electric motor embodiment, the motor utilizes two contra-rotating rotors which each drive a separate and contra-rotating propeller to generate the controlling jet of air. Thrusters are arranged in pairs at the top, bottom, and each side of the bow and stern of the airship. Lifting thrusters directed downwardly and located above the longitudinal extent of the hull are provided to augment the static lift capability of the airship when under heavy load.