Amidst the current rapacious progression of planes, trains, and automobiles there’s something singularly beautiful about this elegant floating Aeolus Airship designed by Christopher Ottersbach. Lifted from the earth by a streamlined sail filled with helium, its serene sun-soaked form makes us want to forgo expeditious travel altogether and drift off amidst the clouds.
Named after Aeolus, the Greek god of the winds, Christopher Ottersbach’s svelte conceptual airship was designed to provide a fresh and ecologically sound approach to travel. Taking its cues from hot air balloons and zeppelins of days gone by, the aerodynamic cloud craft seats 2 to 4 people and is capable of traveling for up to two weeks when filled with helium.
From an sustainability standpoint, the craft requires no infrastructure and uses helium (a non-toxic, non flammable gas) instead of carbon fuels. Additional thrust and steering is provided by pedal powered propulsion generated by the crew. The Aeolus’ slim profile allows it to touch down in places without airports, making it an incredible way to travel the world at a leisurely pace.
The only caveat is finding a consistent source of helium – although the gas is the second most abundant element in the universe, it is a relatively rare and finite resource on Earth and must be extracted via low temperature gas liquefaction or recovered from natural gas.