Algae Powered Airship
03 Nov 2010
Introducing a new concept airship that is effectively powered by algae based bio-fuel derived from brackish and waste water.
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Air freight has always presented issues of both carbon and noise pollution ñ as a potential solution some people are now thinking of returning to airships. They have the ability to take off and land vertically – so there is no need for runways and there is the capacity to lift large items and maneuver them into almost any situation over land or sea. Today however the technology that airship designs can draw on are streets ahead of the old Zepplins and Blimps.
The new concept airship is effectively powered by algae – the main component in the latest bio-fuel derived from brackish and waste water. E-green Technologies have put this together a range of different, new technologies and material engineering developments and built them into one super efficient airship. It has cost £5.5 million to build, but it is something of a giant at 235 ft long and 65ft diameter.
It is designed to be safer and longer lasting and is coated in a material called Kelvar, which despite only being one sixteenth of an inch thick is in fact 10 times stronger than the same thickness of steel. With helium providing the lift its creators are confident that it will achieve a maximum speed of 80mph. but will normally cruise at around 35mph. Astoundingly it is capable of carrying loads of 2,000lbs up to 20,000ft in the air.
Because of its aerodynamic shape and its capacity for speed developers call it the Bullet 580. It is more than likely however that its green credentials that will be its real selling point, whether it is for freight use or the transport of passengers. Its use of bio-fuel recovered from waste water will make it appealing to a growing environmentally aware business community. This is coupled with a new water condensate recovery system that will further enhance its fuel economy. It is a remarkable design that combines simple construction with futuristic technology.
To help make the concept of a whole fleet of bio-fuel powered airships a reality a merger is on the cards with the company 21 Century Airships who have a heritage of construction and to date have created several working models. The merged groups are planning to create a fleet that will be available for rent and that have the capacity to be either manned or flown remotely. The Bullet 580 is the first commercial airship to be launched and if their plans come to fruition it is hoped that it will be the first of many.
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