The skies are yours! Now you just need to learn how to fly.
The helm of a modern airship is an extremely complicated and sophisticated piece of machinery, lovingly crafted out of whatever was lying around and held together by bits of scrap and hope. It is also pretty straightforward to operate.
Every ship has a helm. Walk up to and press E to engage the helm.
While engaged with the helm, press R to increase throttle and F to decrease it. You have both forward and backward throttles. Use them to your advantage. Since airship flight is modeled with realistic physics, combining turning direction with the appropriate throttle can actually increase turn speed. Furthermore, ships have momentum so don’t expect to come to a dead stop. Ships will maintain momentum even if the engines are cut. You can see how fast your ship is going by observing the anemometer (e.g. flapping flag) and also observing what throttle the ship is in on the shift box to the right of the steering wheel.
Even if engines are cut, you can still turn the ship by pressing and holding the A and D keys. You can also turn while ascending or descending.
To make the ship increase or decrease altitude, press and hold the W or S keys. Next to the throttle shift box is a altimeter that will tell you how high you are relative to the ‘floor’ of the map.