Laura K. Cowan

Wave of New UFO-Like Eco Airships Usher in Low-Carbon Future for Air Travel

by , 05/07/11

SkyTug, SkyFreighter, P-791, P791, Lockheed Martin, Millenium Airship, airship, air freight, blimp, eco-friendly freight, eco-friendly air transport, helium airship, alternative transportation, green transportation,

A new generation of high-tech, safe, and eco-friendly airships aim to not only go where roads currently can’t in northern Canada, western China, and Africa, but also to replace the complicated, carbon-heavy infrastructure we now use to transport goods across the world. The SkyTug and SkyFreighter from Millenium AirShip, Inc., and the P-791 prototype from Lockheed Martin are just a few of the gentle giants aiming to green air transport in the next few years.

SkyTug, SkyFreighter, P-791, P791, Lockheed Martin, Millenium Airship, airship, air freight, blimp, eco-friendly freight, eco-friendly air transport, helium airship, alternative transportation, green transportation,

Airships have gotten a bad rap because of the Hindenburg disaster in 1937, but modern airships steer clear of hydrogen, opting instead for helium. The new generation of airships is also equipped with the latest in navigation technology, air-cushioned landing gear that can land the ship on land or water, and most can be unloaded without a large ground crew, which could greatly simplify the logistics of freight transport. Best of all, these new airships are green and cost-effective: Airships “give you access and much larger payloads at much lower costs,” said Peter DeRobertis, the project leader for commercial hybrid air vehicles at Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics and Skunk Works division in Fort Worth. “It’s also a green aircraft; you’re not polluting.”

+ Millenium Airship, Inc.

Via The Daily Climate

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6 Comments

  1. LloydMcDaniel January 11, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    I’m old enough to have seen these forecast three or four times in my lifetime… Hasn’t happened yet. You’ll get pushback [again] from the entire aviation industry.

  2. jessthehippie May 17, 2011 at 5:33 am

    Great idea, but found myself on the MillenniumAirship and Skyfreighter Canada sites and noticed the U.S Pentagon funds MillenniumAirship with the DARPA project, which is defence. They also say the airships would be used for coastal regions as surveillance.

    The Canadian site says they want to fly airships to the “burdened” areas of Canada so they can use the resources, like oil.

    Going to trust my gut feeling on this one and say these corps. are using these for the wrong reasons… I’ll support a different company with better intentions.

  3. Jewalden May 7, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    The US gov’t funded the R&D on this in the first place. Ten years age the Dept of Defense had contracts to bid for development of airships to support transport needs in battle and in poor infrastructure landscapes. I saw the commercial potential then and am so excited it’s finally happening.

  4. lazyreader May 6, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Let the private sector fill a niche for it. This will probably be another boondoggle. Watch what happens when the U.S. Government decides they “need them” and try’s to buy these expensive things for any number of “justifiable uses”. Homeland Security, Border Patrol, National Parks, the Forest Service. Good-Year barely moves a few hundred passengers a year in their blimps; it mostly serves as a floating billboard. If entrepreneurs can find a profitable use for it, I hope they do. I would like to view the Grand Canyon in one. One could hover in between the rock walls.

  5. caeman May 6, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Airships are cool. Even without the green benefit, we should have more of them simply for the visual coolness.

  6. lazyreader May 6, 2011 at 9:38 am

    I think this holds promise for tourism travel. Controllable unlike a hot air balloon, quiet unlike a prop plane and efficient. I don’t honestly think this will really compete with passenger jet travel. But it might be a fun trip for short take offs. Perfect for remote places like Alaska, Hawaii, the mountains, the State or National Parks. But will it spook the animals? We had a huge debate regarding the use of snowmobiles of Yellowstone or ATVs and offroad vehicles that tear up the soil. Would a blimp be visually intrusive. These things could take people on safari……….But you’ll need telephoto lenses and multiwheel trucks take you closer when spotting wildlife.

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