Gallery: 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.

+ Seymourpowell

Via Ecofriend and Mail Online


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  1. outsider April 17, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    A luxury craft capable of making only 4 trips a week is hardly a challenge to, let alone replacement for, fleets of jumbo jets carrying millions of passengers about the world. It’s hard to find the estimated cost per berth, but I’d assume the designers must know it. Alleged zero emissions are only a gimmick to get some attention. Fuel consumption will be a relatively small part of operational costs, anyway, while the article does not explain why electric propulsion was favoured by the designers. Does an electric propulsion system save weight? Getting overall weight down and payload up is the design challenge. Come up with a design that investors will buy.

  2. manny February 7, 2010 at 5:32 am

    Hope this dream turns into reality…..looks impressive!

  3. Jeremy February 5, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Yes, perhaps less than likely, given it’s not aerodynamic in any way and has no propulsion system. Still, we can but dream. If they do come up with something that works, I’d happily take a 37 hour flight to New York over a plane if it were zero carbon.

  4. davidwayneosedach February 4, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    What a beautiful ship! It would fit in perfect here in San Diego bay! I hope it materializes.

  5. Androo February 4, 2010 at 11:36 am

    This is utterly goofy.

    The only take away from this should be an inspirational “maybe that’s possible,” but there should be no mistaking this as engineering. It is a branding exercise, undoubtedly designed by an architect who decided that he needed an “iconic shape” for the “next generation of travel.”

    Airships offer very real potential for low-carbon transportation in the immediate future, but not when no effort is put into aerodynamics, controls, propulsion, structure, or operational logistics.

    Dismiss this as a branding exercise and be done with it.

  6. Airships February 3, 2010 at 10:43 pm
  7. seamusdubh February 3, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    OK, I’ve been all over this posting from many different angles. Several different site postings, the Seymourpowell site, and videos for the craft. Now I see that it is capable of speeds of 90 mph and transatlantic flight. I have one really big question.
    What drives the damn thing. Is it a ducted fan/ propeller system, electrostatic, what?
    It’s the size of a small skyscraper. Like the Hindenburg standing on its end and that had 4 decent size engine pods on it for the same speed.

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