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AIRCRUISE: A Fuel Cell Powered Zero Emissions Luxury Airship
In the hurried and fast paced lives we lead, travel can be just one more stressful, cramped and environmentally unfriendly activity. What if you could slow it down, take some time, and relax – all while aboard a zero emissions luxury cruise that travels not on the water but in the air?! That’s what London-based designers, Seymourpowell, are proposing with Aircruise, a solar and fuel-cell powered airship designed for luxury travel.
It may seem a little (okay, a lot) over the top, but it is a zero emissions means of traveling, and the idea of spending more time relaxing while getting from point A to point B does sound rather appealing compared to the typical frenzy of flying. The concept actually shows some promise and has even attracted the attention of the leading Korean firm Samsung Construction & Trading (who happens to be the leading contractor for the Burj Khalifa in Dubai). Inside, the luxury cruise liner would be a combination of hotel and zepellin, with luxury apartments, a bar, lounge, and other areas to rest, relax and take in the skies.
The airship would float by means of hydrogen filled into 4 air pockets in the craft. In case of a rupture on the external membrane or any of the envelopes, each one is capable of self-sealing to minimize disaster. Powered by solar panels and Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) hydrogen fuel cells that utilize hydrogen stored on board and oxygen from the air, the airship is capable of traveling at 90 mph. At that speed, a trip from London to New York City would take 37 hours and a trip from LA to Hong Kong would take a little under 4 days.
Sure it’s a lot more time than getting on a direct flight, but with zero emissions and a chance to catch up on your sleep in a luxurious setting, it might be pretty nice. Samsung is looking for new solutions such as this one in order to lesson their impact and hopes that this dreamship can be realized by 2015.
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