Filling the Friendly Skies With Hot Air

By Airship News

March 19, 2019 – When a massive helium-filled airship designed by Flying Whales, a French manufacturer, takes to the air for the first time in 2021, it won’t be against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower. Instead, it’ll probably fly over Jingmen, a dusty farm and industrial town in central China where Flying Whales and state-owned China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., Ltd. (CAIGA) recently announced they’re planning to build an airship assembly line. Production should start in 2022 and could result in dozens of the giant ships — each twice as long as a Boeing Co. 747 – floating around the world.

READ MORE: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-03-10/china-s-hoping-airships-will-revolutionize-air-transport

World’s biggest aircraft, Airlander 10, moves toward commercial model

By Airship News

January 14, 2019, London (CNN) — The world’s largest aircraft has been retired after six test flights, as its developers prepare to build a new, commercial model to take to the skies in the early 2020s.

The prototype Airlander 10, a hybrid helium airship built by Hybrid Air Vehicles, based in Bedfordshire in central England, measures 300 feet in length – and has been dubbed the “flying bum” because of its unfortunate shape.

Its “luxury” variant was formally unveiled at the Farnborough Airshow in the UK in July, after a development process that was hit by some high-profile setbacks – including a crash landing on its second flight.

Hybrid Air Vehicles will now begin work on the production version of the prototype, having secured approved from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The luxury Airlander features a 150-foot-long cabin with plush en-suite bedrooms, an on-board “altitude” bar and glass flooring.

READ MORE: https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/airlander-10-prototype-new-model-gbr-intl/index.html

The Struggle to Make Diesel-Guzzling Cargo Ships Greener

By Airship News

May 29, 2018 — At the pier outside Amsterdam’s central train station, commuters stride aboard the IJveer 61. The squat ferry crisscrosses the waterfront, taking passengers from the city’s historic center to the borough of Noord. Beneath their feet, two electric motors propel the ferry through the gray-green waters, powered by 26 lithium-ion polymer batteries and a pair of diesel generators.

Hybrid vessels like the IJveer 61 are increasingly common in the Netherlands, where officials are pushing to limit toxic air pollution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the maritime sector. Patrol vessels and work ships are turning more to batteries and using less petroleum-based fuel; so are crane-carrying boats that pluck fallen bicycles from Amsterdam’s famous canals.

Some of these vessels recharge during off-hours, pulling from the harbor’s electric grid connection. In other boats, diesel generators recharge batteries as they run. As the harbor’s electricity infrastructure expands, more vessels could ditch diesel entirely, says Walter van der Pennen from EST-Floattech, the Dutch energy-storage company that oversaw installation of the IJveer 61’s series hybrid system.

“The next step is to move away from hybrids,” he tells me one drizzly afternoon from a café overlooking the waterway. “For all of the vessels here, it’s perfectly suitable to go full electric.”

READ MORE: https://spectrum.ieee.org/transportation/marine/the-struggle-to-make-dieselguzzling-cargo-ships-greenerectrum.ieee.org/transportation/marine/the-struggle-to-make-dieselguzzling-cargo-ships-greener

‘Flying Whale’ Blimp That Never Lands Joins Global Airship Race

By Airship News

March 26, 2018 – France has entered the global race to develop a viable cargo airship with a 500-foot blimp designed to lift lumber from deep woodland.

Flying Whales is joining a contest that includes defense giant Lockheed Martin Corp. and a clutch of smaller players. What’s different about the latest project is the combined benefit of the blimp being able to lift an industry-leading 60 tons, but without any requirement for mooring pylons.

READ MORE: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-27/-flying-whale-blimp-that-never-lands-joins-global-airship-race

Viking Planning World’s First Liquid Hydrogen-Powered Cruise Ship

By H2 Clipper

October 2, 2017 – Viking Cruises has revealed that it is developing what could become the world’s first cruise powered by liquid hydrogen. The company announced the plan Friday at the Safety at Sea Conference held in Haugesund, Norway.

The proposed hydrogen-powered cruise ship will be built based on existing cruise ship designs, such as the Viking Sun. It will be around 230 meters long and will accommodate more than 900 passengers and a crew of 500, according to Viking. “This is a world sensation. Very exciting.

If they pull this off, a distribution network may be established, which will enable others as well to use hydrogen as fuel, and could contribute to a zero-emission shipping industry,” says Director General of Shipping and Navigation, Olav Akselsen.

Viking says it has been working with the Norwegian International Ship Register on this and several other new projects in recent years. If developed, the new vessel will be registered in Norway.

READ MORE: https://gcaptain.com/viking-planning-worlds-first-liquid-hydrogen-powered-cruise-ship/

Can a new airship unlock the Amazon?

By Airship News

July 11, 2017 – The vast jungle interior of Brazil is a difficult place to reach – there are few roads, and travelling by river is very slow. Could airships be the key to supplying remote Amazonian outposts?

tanding in the middle of what used to be a sugar cane field four miles from the south Brazilian city of São Carlos is a huge arched hangar. Inside the purpose-built structure is an aviation first for Brazil – a new design that could change the way the country develops.

It also happens to be a form of flying machine that has all but disappeared since the 1930s. It is the first manned airship ever built in Brazil. It has already flown in private and is now due to make its first public flight this July. This is part of a £35m ($44.6m) project to make Brazil a centre of the airship industry. The company behind it has even built a new factory ready to manufacture a fleet of airships.

READ MORE: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20170711-can-brazil-bring-the-airship-back-from-the-dead

Why blimps and airships died out – and how they might make a comeback

By Airship News

February 9, 2015 – Many years ago, long before the era of massive international airports, online ticketing agencies, and pesky pre-boarding security inspections, the airship was going to be the future. Needless to say, that didn’t quite work out. Today’s skies are ruled by jumbo jets, helicopters, and the occasional drone or two. But a recent invention may help these long forgotten flying machines to reclaim their rightful place in aviation history – or at least carve out a niche.

“Airship” is a term for all motorised lighter-than-air craft, including blimps (which have inflatable air compartments) and zeppelins (which have rigid ones). They first came into existence after the development of the internal combustion engine, though a few daring aviators tried to pilot airships powered by steam engines. The first modern airship, the Zeppelin LZ1, took flight in 1900 – three years before the Wright Brothers made their famous flight.

Due to their relative cost effectiveness and longer range, airships were seen as the more attractive form of air travel in the early 20th century. They also played a key role as military aircraft, and were used for bombings in World War I. By the 1930s, luxury airships were whisking well-to-do passengers across the Atlantic Ocean, and were considered a technological marvel. They even had an influence on the urban landscape; it’s rumoured that the spire of the Empire State Building was designed to be converted into an airship dock.

READ MORE: https://www.citymetric.com/transport/why-blimps-and-airships-died-out-and-how-they-might-make-comeback-722

The return of the airship: Once the stuff of history, dirigibles are making a surprise comeback – from Nasa to Bedfordshire

By Airship News

January 7, 2015 – You would be forgiven for thinking that airships lived on only in steampunk fantasies or celluloid – in films such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade or The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. But like other forms of transportation technology that we assumed was moribund only to return from the dead like a horror-movie villain – trams, maglevs, double-decker buses, propeller planes – airships are back.

Only last month, Nasa floated plans for the so-called High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (Havoc). The project envisages a space station in the sky, hovering in the atmosphere above the planet Venus, re-supplied by airships that look like Zeppelins. Artists’ impressions of the idea scream 1915 more than 2015, but perhaps dreamers such as Jules Verne and the real-life airship pioneers were just way ahead of their time?

At Cardington Airfield, on the outskirts of Bedford, the story has come full circle. It was here that Britain built the R101 airship nearly a century ago. The hangars are being repainted bright green and restored to their former glory. They are so vast that they are almost beyond comprehension – some of the biggest buildings in Britain, they could fit whole cathedrals inside them. The airships constructed here were initially wildly successful – they became symbols of modernism, like the hangars which held them, and began a process of rapid globalisation: the Empire State Building’s mast was designed as an airship docking point in Midtown Manhattan. But the R101 crashed in France in 1930, killing 48, and, following the Hindenburg disaster seven years later, when the German airship caught fire and killed 36 people, airships were sidelined. Some returned in later years, mainly as “blimps” designed to hover above cricket or baseball stadiums and film the match.

READ MORE: https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/once-the-stuff-of-history-airships-are-making-a-surprise-return-from-nasa-to-bedfordshire-9963740.html