For the first time in history, humans are moving above the quote ‘Sky is the limit’. We might have to modify it a bit into something like ‘Space is the limit’ or not even that. The sky is no longer something that we can only wonder about conquering. With new airship designs like Hydrogenase, we would conquer both skies and oceans at once. Furthermore, these transport systems won’t just conquer skies, in addition, they would also be eco-friendly. Here in this article are some of the most popular design concepts in this segment that we might see in our future.
The airships of the future will soar up using seaweeds. Well, this exactly what Vincent Callebaut, a Belgian architect has conceptualized. His unique transport system involves airships powered by seaweed. These new air mobility means will be 100% self-sufficient as far as energy is concerned and will release zero carbon emission. Headed under the project called Hydrogenase, its exhibits a revolutionary architecture that is fundamentally critic towards the ways of living of our contemporary society.
Deriving inspiration from the beauty and the shapes of nature, the Hydrogenase is a 400 meters high jumbo jet vessel that is capable of flying at an average height of 2 000 meters. This inhabited vertical airship that can carry up to 200 tons of freight at 175 km/h will reside in the heart of a floating farm of seaweeds that reload it directly with bio-hydrogen. It is anticipated that the biofuel producing seaweed farms, behaving as a hub for these airships will be functional by 2030.
Some more airships of the future like Hydrogenase
1. Airship Five Star Hotel
Vacation in a five-star hotel is a luxury in itself, but if you get it in the air, you can’t expect more than that. The “Airship Traveling” by designer Thomas Rodemeier is a five-star mobile hotel that presents a closed loop system in the shape of an airship, allowing optimum comfort and flexibility. Providing both the aerial as well as grounded vacation, the airship uses lifting gas to keep the dome aloft and deploys a telescopic anchor-foot for landing. The airship exchanges helium with oxygen for a longer stay in the air. In addition, the Airship Traveling harnesses solar energy using an array of solar panels on its roof to fulfill its energy requirements, ensuring a sustainable retreat in utmost luxury.
2. Aeolus Airship
Designed by Christopher Ottersbach, the ‘Aeolus’ is an aerial mode of transportation that allows the riders to travel the earth without causing any harm to the ecology. With the capacity of four travelers, the sustainable vehicle is powered (rather lifted) by a huge mass of helium that keeps the airship in the air for as minimum as two weeks. Featuring an aerodynamic shape, unlike the regular hot air balloons, the Aeolus is a motorized vehicle that can be steered with the air’s crews in any direction. And, for all this, the vehicle doesn’t require any sort of infrastructure.
The Aeolus not just moves the travelers over some of the most alien and untouched places of the earth, but the aircraft may land in different places away from airstrips, courtesy to its vertical shape and a fold-out stand. The airship, which is just a concept at the moment, if came in production will make your voyage splendid, safe and sustainable.
3. Aircruise hydrogen airship
Peeping into the future with vision and strategy, London-based design and innovation company Seymourpowell has designed a giant, elegant “clipper in the clouds” airship called “Aircruise” that seems to embark on a new era in luxury travel. Harnessing solar power with a primary hydrogen fuel cell drive, the Aircruise can cruise at around 90mph, leaving no carbon footprint behind. Lying somewhere between a cruise ship and a floating hotel, the airship, which is based on the “slow is the new fast” principle, could move 100 people from London to New York in 37 hours or from Los Angeles to Shanghai in under four days in utmost luxury.
Accommodating four duplex apartments and five smaller apartments together with a penthouse apartment and bar/lounge/communal zone, the Aircruise offers capacious spaces with a low density of passengers, creating a luxury hotel in the skies. Measuring 30 meters in height, the giant airship features dizzying glass-viewing floors, offering mesmerizing views from the sky.
And four external envelopes integrate modular self-sealing lifting bags to ensure a safe flight, even with a major external skin tear. Amalgamating the feel of a fine hotel with absolute freedom of flight, the Aircruise redefines the future of the high-end travel.
4. Transparent Plane by Airbus
A rather interesting and maybe petrifying idea by Airbus features a fully transparent aircraft that would allow passengers to have 360 degree views of their surroundings as they fly. Slated to be completed in 2015, the project would also feature heat absorbent seats that would use the body heat of the passengers to power the plane as well as conform to the body shape of the passenger.
5. Skylon Surface to Orbit Plane
Reaching outer space would be much easier in the near future, thanks to the work being done on the Skylon Surface to Orbit Plane. This SSTO RLV aircraft would make use of a multipurpose engine for both launches and reentries. While it would use air-based oxygen inside the atmosphere, it would switch to fuel based energy in outer space. Experts point out that SSTO RLV would definitely provide a cost effective and energy efficient way to reach outer space.
6. Icon A5
A lot of research has gone into developing hybrid vehicles that can utilize various modes of transportation to move from one place to another more efficiently. Enter the Icon A5, a hybrid amphibious aircraft that can travel both in air and on land. The two-seater plane features a cockpit and folding wings that can be extended during the flight mode. The wheels permit the vehicle to be driven on the road as well with ease. Storage is also not an option as you can easily fold the wings and role the aircraft into your garage.
7. SkyTug Hybrid Airship by Lockheed Martin
This massive aircraft by Lockheed Martin boasts of some rather impressive features. For starters, the massive craft can take off vertically from the ground. Rear-facing propellers then provide the necessary thrust to help the aircraft move forward after it has attained the necessary height. The SkyTug can also hover a couple of feet from the ground and move around at the same height without touching the ground. This enables the aircraft to land easily on uneven surfaces as well, including water and even rocky terrain.
As you might now, traveling by air isn’t considered eco-friendly now. However, with designs like the ones mentioned in the article, it might soon become as eco-friendly as public transportation. A lot of research is being done on futuristic aircraft that would help transport passengers from one of the earth to the other in a cost-effective and energy efficient manner. From featuring fully transparent cabins and aerodynamic design features to plenty of other impressive features, aircraft like Hydrogenase would surely grab eyeballs once they hit the skies.