The Null Device

Flying luxury cruise ships of tomorrow

A US company is building what could replace jet airliners: a new generation of massive, luxuriously appointed airships.
Unlike its dirigible ancestors, the Aeroscraft is not lighter than air. Its 14 million cubic feet of helium hoist only two thirds of the craft's weight. The rigid and surprisingly aerodynamic bodydriven by huge rearward propellersgenerates enough additional lift to keep the behemoth and its 400-ton payload aloft while cruising. During takeoff and landing, six turbofan jet engines push the ship up or ease its descent.
To minimize noise, the aft-mounted propellers will be electric, powered by a renewable source such as hydrogen fuel cells. A sophisticated buoyancy-management system will serve the same purpose as trim on an airplane, allowing for precise adjustments in flight dynamics to compensate for outside conditions and passenger movement. The automated system will draw outside air into compartments throughout the ship and compress it to manage onboard weight.
It sounds good to me; add high-speed satellite-based communications and one has a rather pleasant (and less ecologically damaging) way to travel than current airliners. Whilst a trip would take longer, it would probably be more enjoyable and/or productive than sitting in an airliner seat.

There are 1 comments on "Flying luxury cruise ships of tomorrow":

Posted by: Alexander Wed Feb 15 04:22:14 2006

The comeback of the airship has been harbingered as far back as 1995, predicting both Friedrichstafen (home of the zeppelins) and British-built 300+ metre-long ships. Unfortunately, none materialized.

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