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Giant zeppelin could revolutionize air travel

Posted on Wednesday, 18 September, 2013 | Comment icon 11 comments

A passenger airship getting ready to take off. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Steve Jurvetson
Aeroscraft's ML866 airship is set to bring zeppelins back as a viable and effective form of transport.
Having cruised through the skies for over 100 years, airships were once considered to be the ultimate way to fly. Now mostly superseded by modern airplanes these lighter-than-air behemoths have mostly disappeared, but one American company is aiming to bring them back in a big way.

Aeroscraft has developed a new type of airship, one that is far more refined and maneuverable than any that have come before. Filled with helium gas, the airship can control its buoyancy by compressing the gas in to special tanks.

Capable of traveling up to 115mph with a cargo of 66 tons, the airship would be able to take off and land anywhere, even on water, and fly directly to its destination. The project is being hailed as revolutionary as it would provide an effective way to transport supplies to war zones or areas affected by natural disasters.

The company is looking to raise enough funds to produce a fleet of 24 of the airships over the next few years and has already received $3M from a US government grant to help develop the project.

Source: Huffington Post | Comments (11)

Tags: Zeppelin, Aeroscraft

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by Merc14 on 18 September, 2013, 13:32
I thought that we had proved hydrogen to be a bad idea in aircraft? Nevermind, having read the info at the Aeroscraft site I see they are using helium, not hydrogen,, to fill the envelope.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Calibeliever on 18 September, 2013, 19:56
115 mph? Pretty impressive. I wonder what it's environmental limitations will be.
Comment icon #4 Posted by pallidin on 18 September, 2013, 20:03
Seems like a REALLY big, low-flying craft with not a whole lot of speed. Easy target for those wanting to do nefarious things from the ground. I'll pass on boarding.
Comment icon #5 Posted by DONTEATUS on 18 September, 2013, 21:24
Thought We were totally out of Helium ? justDONTEATUS
Comment icon #6 Posted by Timonthy on 18 September, 2013, 23:11
Just running out. Will cost much more soon. Goodbye squeaky voices Check out the fleet comparison! They are some pretty big airships: Edit: I feel bad for the elephants that they are going to be cutting in half!
Comment icon #7 Posted by highdesert50 on 18 September, 2013, 23:25
Helium is a trace component in natural gas and a large portion has been held in only one world reserve, in the US. I believe the reserve is being decommissioned due to debt. A semi-trailer will carry over forty tons with a fuel efficiency of about five miles per gallon. And, trains are far more efficient, so this endeavor will undoubtably need to be highly specialized in its delivery venue to recognize profit.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Realm on 18 September, 2013, 23:25
How much helium to lift 66 tons of cargo? Wow.
Comment icon #9 Posted by danielost on 19 September, 2013, 5:51
I think this is a good idea. But, more along a cruise line than a transportation line. Of course getting supplies into a natyrail desaster area would also be good. Of course I will never fly on one. Fear of hieghts.
Comment icon #10 Posted by keithisco on 19 September, 2013, 14:20
Go to HAV (Hybrid Air Vehicles, Bedford) and you will see just how advanced UK Engineering is in this field. They have built a 304 ft Helium Dirigible for the DoD in the USA (for On-Station surveillance), and they can build a LTA (Lighter Than Air) vehicle that can lift 1,000 tonnes. The USA is playing "Catch - Up" on an entirely proven UK concept, from a tiny UK Company
Comment icon #11 Posted by Shiriki-chan on 19 September, 2013, 17:18
How is this viable if we are currently supposed to be in a helium shortage?

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