A year ago we wrote about Sky Yacht, a company that was working on building personal airships. They are still going, and, after a recent story on NPR's All Things Considered covered the project, it seems an appropriate time to take another look.
The blimp was being touted as a rich person's toy, but there are a number of real useful applications for this kind of craft. It could be used by researchers investigating things such as the diversity of life in tree canopies, places that researchers cannot now easily reach. As we noted previously, "no other aircraft can accomplish the seemingly straightforward task of picking off the top-most leaf from a particular tree."
It also could help solve "last mile" problems in a instances of shipping heavy, bulky items where roads are not in place and the cargo is too heavy for helicopters to handle. Logging, done using these blimps, could be done with far fewer roads cut through the forest. More selective logging of non-farm forests could be carried out with a greatly reduced impact on the surrounding area. Similarly, airships like this would allow larger pieces of equipment or segments of buildings to be fabricated at a factory and delivered directly to the site. At present, transportability limits many things to a size that can be carried down the highway. We're making pieces that are not more than one lane wide. But if wider and larger pieces could be delivered more directly (transported either from the factory or from container ships or other sources where the size is not constrained), less field fabrication and assembly would be needed and costs could be lowered.See Also:
-Hey There Blimpy Boy-
-9 Steps to Greener Flight-
-The Return of the Airship-
written by your mom, November 12, 2007
written by Winnipeg Hotels, March 13, 2008
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