Network for the Environment and Social (Human) Security

Revival of the Airship

Posted by on Sep 7, 2011 in Totem | 13 comments

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On Feb 9, 2011 I published in this website a post about Airships and Climate Change (1). A couple of days ago I found a interesting clip on the net. It seems Lockheed-Martin wants to build an airship, the p-791 (2). Considering the products of the company, the military aspect is not surprising. I am happy to see though, that even international companies are discovering the potential of alternative technology. What we, at Nesseq, always say; low-tech in a high-end version. Where Inherent Energy is used and a TOTEM System can be formed. That’s the way into the future!

It is also comforting to know, that machines made for the military purposes are heavy duty machinery and can be used for every conceivable purpose. The advantage of an airship to a conventional airplane is that an airship does not need as much energy to cover the same distance. It takes longer but less energy is needed. While the airplane is flying and needs a certain speed to stay in the air, the airship floats, thanks to the Helium and has only to be propelled forward.

A further advantage is, that the airship is not as dependent on a infrastructure. An airship needs only an empty field, while the airplane needs a whole airport. Helicopters also don’t need infrastructure, they can lift off and land vertically and the machines can also hover on a certain spot. But only for a certain time. Also their fly and cargo range is quiet limited. Unlike an airship, which could stay in the air for as long as three and more weeks and could transport more goods than an airplane or an helicopter. Hence, goods can be transported to remote areas without a infrastructure. Planes can only drop the goods from the air on parachutes.

This point is very important in areas struck by natural catastrophes. An airship can hover over a certain area indefinitely. It just has to anchored. The headquarter of the relief force can be on the airships. From there the relief work can be organized would be much more orderly and efficient. Besides the military and relief use, an airship could also be used for intercontinental transportation of goods. It is understandable, that traveling people want to arrive as fast as possible at their destination and therefore airships are not made for this. In July 1936, the LZ 129 Hindenburg also completed a record Atlantic double crossing in five days, 19 hours and 51 minutes (3). It took regular ship 3-4 days to cross the Atlantic. If we were serious about saving energy, we would transport goods rather in airships and not in airplanes. If a unripe banana from South-America arrives a couple of days later in Europe makes no difference for the consumer. On the contrary, since the transport of the banana needs less energy than an airplane, the prices of the goods could be accordingly be lowered!

Actually it is a real pity, that people have no alternative to airplanes if they want to travel to another continent.The question is, whether people would be ready to travel in airships, which would resemble the transcontinental travel by trains not even hundred years ago. The interior of the Hindenburg gives a clue how it would be to travel in an airship (4). Would it be economical? Again, the calculation of the price of the present energy is too low, alternatives to the existing technology are not able to compete. It has to be clear, that the energy prices are low, because the follow-up costs in the future to fix the problems created today are not part of the calculation. The airship, could be a substitute in many areas of airtraffic. And it would be profitable, if the price for fossil energy would be more expensive, Ms. Bachmann! I only hope, that the good news about the revival of the airship will last into the future and will not end as a bubble, after the next elections 2012.

 Hindenburg Interiors

 

For further reading:

1. Airships and Climate Change

2. Lockheed Martin P-791

3. LZ 129 Hindenburg

4. Zeppelin Interior

Images used under Fair Use provision and has been taken from:

1. The Swash.com

2. Altfrankfurt.com

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