Apr 8, 2010

Amazing futuristic Conceptual airships for sustainable air travel

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Without a doubt, there is something exceptionally beautiful and exciting about airships. Over the last few years, we have seen some amazing airship concepts that are designed to provide an ecologically sound approach to air travel. The high-tech fabrics, advanced aircraft composite materials and the modern design tools have revolutionized the way airships are designed. Here we have a list of beautiful airship concepts that seem to be all set to offer an affordable and sustainable air transportation option.
The Stirling Solar-Electric Airship:
stirling solar electric airship
Laurens Rademakers has come up with a concept that attempts to cut costs and go green. Dubbed as the Stirling Solar-Electric Airship, the ergonomically sensuous high-altitude airship uses the principle of a Stirling engine to stay afloat for long periods of time. The Stirling engine works on the principle of the heat difference between the layers of the ship. The greater the heat difference, the greater the energy produced. By using a solar dish to capture solar energy and to translate it into heat, the airship can produce enough energy to keep it afloat even at night. Energy storing batteries, lightweight body design and its position in the sky make it perfect for harnessing solar power to the fullest. It can be used for communication, monitoring and keeping an eye on eco-changes.
Solar Blimp that rests on water:
solar blimp that rest on water
A Spanish-based company called Turtle Airships is working to build a luxurious solar-powered aircraft that can take passengers from New York to Paris. This blimp will be powered by lightweight photovoltaic cells. What makes the design interesting is its potential to rest both on land as well as on water. The first airship prototype will be propelled in two nontraditional ways. The outer surface of the ship will be roofed with lightweight photovoltaic cells (CIG). The cells are expected to generate enough power to move the aircraft at around 40 mph in average conditions, or at around 70 horsepower. In addition to CIG PV cells, the solar-powered blimp is equipped with a diesel drive train for those non-sunny days. This innovative way to fly allows extensive reduction of carbon emissions while diesel drive trains operate in cloudy weather or at night.
Giving you the freedom from wasting hours sitting in smog-choked traffic behind an endless line of idling cars is the Airbia, an amazing airship that is designed to create an efficient and ecofriendly alternative to polluted suburban commutes. Designed by Alexandros Tsolakis and Irene Shamma, the sleek fleet of high-flying eco-friendly airships soar using helium and travel at an average speed of 93 mph at heights between 100 to 1,640 feet above the Earth. With a carrying capacity of 400, the Airbia is one of 20 incredible finalists in our ReBurbia competition.
Airship One: 
airship one
The Airship One is a solar-powered hybrid between a semi-rigid airship and an airplane and can comfortably accommodate 25 passengers in its double-deck passenger compartment. The airship’s aluminum-grade skeleton is a semi-rigid structure and has carbon fiber paneling and high-strength fabric to camouflage the skeleton. The vectored ducted fans enable the ship to hover or cruise around 120mph effortlessly. As wonderful as the concept looks on paper, or rather computer graphics, it still will be difficult to realize.
Manned Cloud:
manned cloud
Fly high without polluting the sky. Awarded by the Design Observer 2008, the Manned Cloud is a flying hotel that allows its passengers to discover inaccessible areas, devoid of any infrastructure (airports, roads, hotels, etc.). The talented French designer Jean Marie Massaud designed this impressive airship concept being pushed forth by Massaud Studio, in partnership with ONERA, the center of French aerospace research. The unique, helium-filled hotel is said to be a mix of a huge zeppelin, with services cruise, hotel accommodations and aesthetics.
rediscover whitehouse
Here is an eco-friendly helium powered zeppelin that offers a perfect dual concept for the White House. Dubbed as Rediscovery, this docking station consists of a building and an airship as a mobile part. The main objective of the concept is to make a worldwide exchange of new regenerative technologies possible. The building is expected to act as a greenhouse for endangered endemic species. The stunning accommodation and workspace for the President and his staff members not only flaunts its pioneering technology, but also its green credentials.
Strato Cruiser airship:
strato cruiser airship
Tino Schaedler and Michael J Brown designed the Strato Cruiser airship, a concept for a “lifestyle zeppelin.” Offering short, rejuvenating and healthy journeys for the all travelers, the luxury helium-filled airship contains a gourmet restaurant, a spa, a swimming pool, a resident DJ and many more modern-day specs. Adding to the ecological quotient are features like the carbon fiber skin, photovoltaic cells and a sectional helium chamber. The prototype’s “doughnut hole” entrance reinvents the zeppelin concept, and the creation has a retractable polycarbonate roof, a bungee-jumping platform, a restaurant on the underside and a recreational climbing wall somewhere in between. The private suites are well marked away from public spaces, therefore you need not worry about your privacy on the airship.
The Aeolus Airship:
aeolus airship
The Aeolus Airship, despite its alien ship-like looks, is an earthly design aimed at environmentally friendly air travel. It is basically an airship, only designed to be more aerodynamic than the airships we mostly come across. Aeolus can carry two to four people for a journey lasting about two weeks. Motorized by the crew (!) the helium-filled balloon does not move fast, but the design from Christopher Ottersbach is more about making air travel ecofriendly.
Sanswire-TAO STS-111:
sanswire tao sts 111
Coming loaded with green features and aesthetic looks is the Sanswire-TAO STS-111. The 111-foot long, 11-foot tall multi-segmented and non-rigid airship incorporates ultralight UAV (Unmanned Air Vehicle) technology, which allows for hovering for extremely long periods. It uses gas-cell power for the propulsion as well as electricity generation. It can be brought into use for carrying various payloads and transmitting various types of wireless communications.
DARPA’s geostationary airship:
darpa airship
DARPA will soon have a geostationary airship, which should remain aloft for 10 years without a recharge. U.S. Defense contractor Lockheed Martin has been given a $400 million contract to design, build, test and fly a 1:3 scale model of an airship surveillance and telecommunications platform called the High Altitude Airship (HAA). The un-tethered geostationary airship will be filled with helium to enable it to patrol the skies from the jet stream, which is about 21km from the surface of the Earth. If the tests are successful, the company will develop the full-scale airship, which will be powered by a 15KW solar array mounted on its roof. The solar generators will power all onboard systems and also recharge a 40KWh Li-ion battery pack used to power its 2KW lightweight all-electric propulsion system
About The Author
I'm Balaji Wishvam, an engineering student in Tamilnadu, India. I'm but interested in arts and animation a lot.I’m more interested in PHOTOGRAPHY a lot… I’ve shifting thoughts and got some interest in Technology too particularly in innovative gadgets, robotics, quantum physics, etc.
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