In his fantasy novel The War Lord of the Air novelist Michael Moorcock imagined a 1973 where the airship reigned supreme. There had never been a First World War, the great European empires had never fallen, and aeroplanes were deemed impossible. The trade routes of the sky were filled with huge silver dirigibles crossing the skies and linking continents.
In the real world, it never happened. From 1919 onwards the sky was increasingly filled with fast, heavier than air machines which could whisk you from Frankfurt to New York in hours. Or on your holiday from Luton to Benidorm. But there is one problem; they already contribute quite a slice of greenhouse gases, and as flying grows, this will start piling up fast. We could cut this before it happens-but how?
One company that thinks it has an answer is Hybrid Air Vehicles of Bedford in the UK. Their hybrid powered Airlander 10 is designed to take over the short haul routes (think Barcelona- Balearics or San Francisco- Seattle) , to be updated by all-electric models by 2025. It’ll be slower than a plane, but the emissions will be a whopping 90% lower. And we think the views will be a lot better! So,we’ve got two links for you today. One to Rupert Neate of the Guardian and one to HAV themselves. There’s some great photos and videos for you to enjoy.
We at LSS would hate air travel to fail: nothing has done more to break down barriers between peoples. Yet we do need to make every effort, large and small, to cut greenhouse emissions. We think HAV represent a really brave attempt to do that. Airships have never quite gone away: Londoners will recall visits from the Goodyear blimp in the 1970s, and the old Airship Industies pioneer from the 1990s. Now perhaps they have a reason to come back, big time.
#aviation#co2emissions #airships #airtravel #aeroplane #holiday #business #bedfordshire
Michael Moorcock The Warlord of the Air NEL 1971