January 21, 2007
Topic: The Future of TransportationI've recently been wondering about Blimp (Air Ship) travel. I think people really aught to give a second thought to travel by Air Ship. And Why? It's true that blimps/air ships are not nearly as fast as Jets; but there are several aspects to blimp-travel that make up for that...These are reason why blimp/air ship travel should be considered as a good idea for the future of travel:
First--No airport no problem! Blimps can pretty much take off from anywhere, so they do not necesarily require an airport. Blimps can travel to any city or town.
Secondly, blimps could potentially be a lot safer than Jets—why? Because depending on how you build them, if a hole is created and lift capacity begins to decrease, a blimp will most likely slowly crash, rather than plummet from the sky.
Third, blimps could be tremendously less expensive to operate than gas guzzling jets, by letting the natural work of lighter-than-air noble gases do their work.
Fourth, Airships have traditionally been massive. Inside an airship you can provide many of the amenities found in a ocean cruise liner, depending on the size of the airship, to possible include: luxury suites, indoor running track, indoor swimming pool with transparent bottom allowing swimmers to look through the water they are swimming in to the ground or the clouds blow. With new technology and better materials available today I'm surprised no one is already building more efficient, innovative, and safer blimps.
I would suggest combining the concepts of an Air Ship (Blimp, Zeppelin, etc.) and the concept of a Thermal Airship (essentially a hot air balloon) into one ship that utilizes both noble gas and heated air for lift capacity. I've included a sketch of a smaller prototype craft in a figure below (click on image to see larger version).
For the Primary Noble Gas chamber the structure would hypothetically be internally supported by a titanium frame and would feature several sub-chambers filled with a noble gas which could be depleted and displaced by secondary sub-chambers filled with air. I would use neon, or argon, both non-flammable noble gases, as the lifting agent. To increase lifting capacity, I would attach side mounted supplemental thermal air chambers (like hot air balloons) to the sides of the noble gas filled central chamber (principle lifting agent). These auxiliary thermal air chambers would be internally supported by a titanium rods going up the center of the chamber to preserve the shape when chambers are deflated.