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Three Airships That Might Fly You to Europe Someday's true...we at EcoGeek have a little crush on airships. They're elegant, efficient, and exciting and enter site viagra to buy require very little infrastructure. We can't help talking about them whenever they hit the news. Airships have the potential to be more efficient than airplanes, cars, and even passenger trains and barges.

In a carbon-conscious world, passenger flight is difficult to rationalize. But we've got to get from point A to point B. There are births, funerals, weddings, and graduations to attend. Right now, there is no alternative to traditional heavier-than-air travel.

Here are a few airships that have a good chance at changing that:

The Aeroscraft

Aeroscraft comes in first because it seems both more ambitious and farther along than others. Also on EcoGeek

They have several projects in development, most importantly including safety and stability when the craft is not moving. As lighter-than-air (LTA) craft are completely subject to the weather when not under their own propulsion, low-speed control is a big deal, and Aeroscraft has that in its sights.

Their current project under development is a small airship designed to be a luxury cabin for the uber-wealthy, or a commercial transport for tourism (complete with glass-bottom.) Neither of these are particularly environmental but both are significant steps to larger projects.

The SkyCat

While SkyCat has a less impressive marketing department, their initiative is nonetheless impressive. Already, a working 1/6-scale mockup (the skykitten) has been produced and flown (by remote control.) The mockup was a success, and their first prototype airship (the SkyCat 20) (capable of lifting 20 tons) is already under construction and slated to be operational in 2009.

SkyCat is focusing primarily on shipping, at least in the beginning, hoping to fill the gap between high-speed (expensive) air freight and low-speed (cheap) ground freight.


Another airship company (obviously) focusing on freight is Canada's SkyFreighter. They started out as part of a U.S. Defense project for an amphibious LTA craft (the Walrus Program). But now they're looking at both military and buy viagra and receive it in canada fast commercial possibilities. Unfortunately, it looks as if they're stuck at the engineering level. Since the Walrus program was cancelled, their funding has stalled.

But they're still planning for a possible U.S. to Canada LTA shipping route. A lot of propecia for hair loss money has gone into designing and engineering the canada pharmacy SkyFreighter, we'd hate to see it die. But with competition like Aeroscraft and SkyCat, they're gonna have to fight to stay alive.

Here's a SkyCat prototype taking to the skies! Try to ignore the overdramatic music :-).

And this is a promotional video from Aeroscraft, no working prototypes yet, but it gives you an idea of how comparatively pleasant this would be:

And, a slightly broken news clip of from Aeroscraft:

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Comments (27)Add Comment
written by Justin, December 11, 2007
Cool post Hank.
written by Spencer Lindsay, December 11, 2007
We've been talking about these for years now... I remember sitting in my sixth grade class reading Popular Mechanics and being all stoked about these... I think with the steady decline of fossil fuels, we may finally get these in non-stratospheric prices as well. Noticing that the Aeroscraft (Eroscraft?) comes in two "executive" models...

Great site! Your RSS is rockin' my inbox.
written by zepplin lover, December 11, 2007
I've always been a huge fan of airships and I'd love to be able to ride a dirigible to europe.
lolololololololololololololololololololo, Low-rated comment [Show]
Why would you want to ride one of these
written by snowman, December 11, 2007
Have you guys seem how fast, ummm..... i mean how slow these things fly? Forget the 6 hour flight to europe, lets take a whole day to get there. Give me a jet anyday. I think they only have potential for cargo applications, not passenger travel.
Also skeptical
written by BigGrayBeast, December 11, 2007
I first remember reading about the resurgence of airships in True Magazine, in 1968. I had hopes with CargoLifter, but the net result of buy generic viagra canada that effort was turning their hanger into an indoor amusement park.
@ Why would you want to ride one of thes
written by Chicago, December 11, 2007
you're not too bright, are you? why do people take cruise ships, which are also slower?

i would love to take a 24 hour air cruise over the levitra prescriptions online pond in a big, tricked out luxury airship with sleeping cabins, nightclubs, spa, gym, swimming pool...the works!
written by Bob Grillo, December 12, 2007
Lighter than air craft, $0.30 per kw solar power, capacitors that can recharge an electric car in 5 minutes, etc., etc. WHEN will this all finally happen?!?! I'm soooooo longing for the day that things like the craft in this piece will be anything other than promising pipe dreams. Makes me kind of sad that the reality is things like this will probably never REALLY get going. I'll keep hoping but frankly I was expecting air cars by 1999.
written by Alex, December 12, 2007
Uhhh. Interesting news :D
written by pusicfer, December 12, 2007
Their beauty and grace and novelty I agree with, but there is a reason these aren't around. Nature. Weather. There is no way you would catch me on one of these over the Atlantic or otherwise, for the same reason I wouldn't ride a hot air balloon from NY to London.
These aren't your great grandfather's ai
written by Ron Hochstetler, December 12, 2007
Hi Hank:

It’s great to see you continuing the coverage of my favorite technical topic. I wouldn’t expect most people to know very much about the technical capabilities and visit web site similar levitra limits of modern airships, so I’d like to point out a couple of things. Using old paradigms to evaluate new technologies is inherently risky. For instance, what do we mean by slow, are we concerned only about the speed of the primary means of conveyance or of online ordering viagra the total trip time? R.E.G. Davies, Curator of the Commercial Transportation collection at the National Air and Space Museum has pointed out that it still takes the same door-to-door time to travel from downtown Washington, DC to downtown New York as it did in the mid-1930’s. Not much improvement there. As for travel to Europe, yeah I’m a bit older and slower than you but the last time my wife and I flew to London from Dulles airport we were both so tired that we checked into our hotel as soon as they’d let us in, and promptly took a nap… for 10 straight hours! Depending on the reason for your flight to Europe you may prefer to land with lots of energy (and no jet lag) by taking an airship.

The other airship issue I wanted to touch on was weather. Modern airships can utilize the same weather forecasts and predictive models that modern jet transports rely upon. As a matter of fact I’ve been working with some colleagues who have developed a sophisticated weather model that can create weather optimized flight routes for large transport airships. The model allows us to explore nearly a million hypothetical airship routes between any two locations. We tell the computer what the airship’s performance values and weather limits are, and the model gives us the series of route headings and altitude changes that will avoid headwinds, take advantage of tail winds, and get us to our destination on time, with the lowest fuel burn. So that takes care of one of the oldest and try it buy cialis online no prescription nastiest airship bugaboos!
written by Faolchu, December 15, 2007
Ever since the Hindenberg disaster, the air transport industry has shied away from Airships. If the Hindenberg had been filled with Helium, the blow-up would never have happened.
Modern construction methods and better weather information would make them quite efficient and a lot faster than the old-style Dirigibles of the thirties.
It might take a day to cross the Atlantic, and a day and a half to cross the Pacific-but with cargo to offset the price of passenger service, it would be a bit cheaper than taking a jet, and there would be less
"Jet-Lag" to worry about.
You'd not have to sit in an uncomfortable seat all the cialis 10 mg way, either. There might even be shops...
written by Dave Jakubisin, December 15, 2007
Everthing I've ever read about lighter-than-air craft and futuristic air cars, that were supposed to be common place by now, has been an all or nothing-like approach concerning the type of lift employed. It's either massive helium bags or super-computer controled ducted air vehicles. I'll bet (I probably should take some initiative here) that there already exists enough know-how to come up with a 2 person hybrid, helium assisted vehicle that would be the shape of a bulging, elongated doughnut with the cabin and power unit in the lower part of where the doughnut hole should be, that would fit though a 16x8 garage door. If I have the correct concept of physics, I don't think, that with a complete loss of power, such a craft would hit the ground much harder than a standard parachute jumper does; of course than could be remediated too with a safety chute.
written by Tryphon, December 20, 2007
Come on Hank,
The first video featuring on this page is the recently released footage of Lockheed Martin's experimental hybrid airship model,P-791.It looks much like the Skycat concept but it's an entirely different project.If anyone wants a glimpse of good choice order levitra online canada the skykitten prototype,search "skykitten" at BBC NEWS where there's a report on Hybrid Air Vehicles (ex Advanced Technologies Group) the develloper company of the Skycat project
written by MARCO A HEREDIA, January 02, 2008
i love the idea maybe one day soon,i think the reason why we have not done anything about it because we as powerful country (the u.s.a )and very capitalism nation we have forget the canadian viagra without prescription important of the planet,and yea continue talking and talking and the planet eart keep getting hot and best online generic levitra hotter,of course we pause for a moment but we don't do anything,we as a nation need to slowdown, the way we live its killing you and others,if we used thechnologies to our advanced instead of flying for business meting,we have those metings with a computer of course a big one, that way we can cut air travel in list 30 to 40%,one way 2 stop air pollution,we need to focus on the future now,not after its 2 late,let's stop being self destroying(GOD BLESS THE WORLD)
I am not a critic of a good idea
written by david, January 26, 2008
These have the potential to be a great modern enterprise, who has ever spent the night above the trees of the amazon in a comfortable luxurious cruise ship?!
written by Keith, May 01, 2008
Love the idea of lighter than air travel!!! Would love to fly in an airship to Europe. My grandparents were quite the world travelers and went to Europe many times, once on the Hindenburg in 1936. Having crossed the atlantic in an ocean liner, airship and jet, they said an airship was the nicest. Would love the idea of going to Europe without jet lag.....
Victoria safaris
written by James Asudi, May 15, 2008
I would wish to have a link exchange with an Africa tour operator based in Nairobi that specializes in Mountain climbing, Disability tourism, Wildlife safaris, Birding, Lake Victoria safaris in Kenya Uganda, Rwanda,Burundi and Tanzania including Pemba and Zanzibar Islands
African Memorable Safaris
written by Jennifer, June 05, 2008
i would wish to have a link exchange with you. We offer Mombasa Safaris,beach holidays,wildlife Safaris,Cultural Safaris,Mombasa Excursions,Mountain Climbing.
written by Juno, September 05, 2008
This thing would make a sweet retirement investment.
I would kill to fly around the xenical canadian pharmacy world in a luxury air yacht that is also floatable on water.
Hear from the Original
written by Nostradome, December 21, 2008
I am the guy who set all of cialis online switzerland this in motion.

Learn the Truth....My ship is Practicle,Fast,Dirigible and will give Birth to a new Industry.
written by Uncle B, January 12, 2009
Post (GRD) great republican depression Americans will work part-time and look there best viagra price occasional jobs at best, most good jobs will have migrated to Asian countries, and Americans will have a lot of time on their hands and very little cash! A jaunt cross country to visit relatives on an airship might be a very enjoyable pass time for the poor masses in America, and certainly will give them a glimpse of the rest of the country away from their GRD shanties on the outskirts of the foreclosed McMansions, now falling into ruin. If the prices per person are kept low, and accomodations simple, large volumes of poor people can be transported cheaply cross country, and since poverty and scarce cash will be prevalent in America for a long time after the GRD and the Bush follies, this may be the only way the good people will ever visit other places!
written by groo, March 07, 2009
I think it would be awesome to go island hopping across the pacific or caribbean ocean on one of these. Also a trip across the American West like the Grand Canyon, Devil's Tower, Yellowstone, Great Meteor Crater Arizona etc. could be pretty neat.
written by Clark, May 24, 2009
I have been waiting for this sort of thing. I have always seen them as very useful, although i am still only in 6th grade...They are an amazing form of transportation, and smaller forms can be made for shorted distances than those imagined. Although i often read, half-fantasy novels such as Airborn, I still thin kthey are possible and could possibly be amazingly useful. I would LOVE to have one, simply as my own personaly form of transportation.
Smaller forms
written by Clark, May 24, 2009
These could also be seen in smaller forms for use of the general public. They are, in general, not to insanely hard to pilot, which is why I said in my earlier comment that i would like to have one.
All modern technologies...
written by Martin Nelson, August 21, 2009
It would be great to see all that we can incorporated into airship design and construction. Solar power for the engines and electrical systems, a propulsion arrangement of it's cool cialis canada a row of fans ducted right through the middle of the whole thing, instead of mounted on nacelles. Some of the fans would turn generators, if solar power were not sufficient or for longer travel in darkness. Lightweight, high strength composites for construction throughout... There is a lot that could be done and it would be great to see it all come together. The cargo and buy now online levitra passenger capacity of these things could be so optomized and as is mentioned in previous posts, what a great way to overcome jet-lag.

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