The current scenario
Transportation technologies have got a new form over all these years and have made traveling comfortable and convenient. There are a variety of transportation modes that help us travel all around the globe in no time. But, the saddest part being that the world is still ruled by gas-guzzling beasts that are threat to the environment. Efforts are being made to give the world environmentally-friendly vehicles that will be effective, energy efficient as well as clean. Public transportation systems, like buses, trains, airplanes, etc. are also getting an eco friendly streak as they run using solar energy and electricity. Such vehicles not only save precious resources but are also superior to gasoline driven vehicles as they are harmless for the surroundings.
The benefits of airships
Airships have a lot of advantages when compared with the usual airliners that carry passengers. They won’t harm the environment like conventional airliners that run on fossils fuels, which are a non-renewable source of energy. This will have a very low impact on the surroundings and will keep it away from the clutches of deterioration. Airships will practically have no negative impact on the environment, which is a commendable trait. When it works using fossil fuels even then the impact will be 80-90 percent less than any other everyday aircraft.
Airships are shaped like planes and modern designs aptly exploit buoyancy and aerodynamic lift. They feature small tails and wings just like planes do. The new-age airships can land easily sans any help and are more stable plus heavy. The best part being these airships just need a flat surface for landing and taking off and can perform the same task on the surface of water as well. The only transport that can store hydrogen fuel is the airship and is a great substitute for fossil fuels.
A glimpse into the future
1. Solar Flight Sunship
The thinker: Solar Flight
Airships have a history of flying long distances with all the safety and limited power plants. Solar Flight Sunship is a long range aircraft that has a configuration lighter than air, which has a rigid shape. The Sunship will be small and will be able to fly at an altitude of 24,000 ft. It will be able to carry one person at a high altitude, two people at medium altitude and three at low altitude. It will be designed in a way that will make it capable of crossing the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean. Solar Flight Sunship will go around the globe using solar energy, which is worth applauding as it won’t pollute the environment.
The thinker: Gosha Galitsky
The AirShipOne is here to bridge the gap between an airplane and a semi-rigid airship. The hybrid is solar powered and has a double deck passenger compartment. This compartment has enough room for people that can be accommodated comfortably. AirShipOne can cruise around at a speed of 120 mph, which is possible due to the presence of vectored ducted fans. The clean and green airship’s aluminum grade skeleton is a well crafted semi-rigid construction. The skeleton of AirShipOne is well concealed by fiber of high strength, while the paneling is crafted from carbon fiber. AirShipOne is a futuristic airship that will loudly yell the ‘Go Green’ slogan.
The thinker: Seymourpowell
Aircruise is a clear picture that represents the future of hospitality and travel. It is a zero-emission concept that will bring a hotel and an airship on the same platform. The luxury-coated airship can move at a speed of 90 mph and will definitely make people with an eco-soul travel the guilt free way. Aircruise will primarily derive energy from a hydrogen fuel cell drive system, while it will also be able to harvest energy from the sun.
4. Stirling Solar Electric Airship
The thinker: Laurens Rademakers
The Stirling Solar-Electric Airship is a futuristic concept that is based on the principle of a Stirling Engine. This principle lets the aircraft floating in air for a long period, which is possible because of the heat difference that exists between the ship’s layers. The amount of energy produced is directly proportional to the heat difference between the layers if the airship. Solar energy can be easily captured with the help of a solar ship, which will be translated into heat. This makes the airship capable of producing enough energy that keeps it floating even when dusk sets in.
If one peeps into the history of airships, it will become clear that they have proved disastrous and failed many times that too fatally. One of the examples is the Hindenburg disaster that took on May 6, 1937 at Lakehurst, New Jersey. The period of the passenger zeppelin ended abruptly after a good thirty years. During this period, more than 2000 successful flights were made that carried tens of thousands of passengers.
Another example is that of spaceship R101, which crashed during its first overseas voyage. The fatal incident happened in France on October 5, 1930, which killed 48 people. It was tagged as the worst airship accidents that happened in the 30s. Apart from this, airships can only touch a maximum speed of 150 mph and are quite sensitive to wind when compared to airplanes.