Blimps Big Enough to Haul Buildings



Skylifter is an Australian start-up company that hopes to use enormous blimps to move pieces of equipment to places not easily accessible by roads:

Heavy-transport helicopters, such as the Mil Mi-26 or Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane, address some of these difficulties, but their payloads are limited to 20 and nine tonnes, respectively, and the huge rotors create a powerful downdraft that makes handling that payload rather tricky. So people have long been looking for other ways round the problem. Now, Skylifter, an Australian aeronautical firm, thinks it has found the perfect solution.

The company is developing a piloted dirigible capable of carrying loads of up to 150 tonnes over distances as great as 2,000km (1,240 miles) at a speed of 45 knots (83kph). This would permit the craft to transport not just hefty components, but entire buildings, to remote areas. The company envisages modules ranging from rural hospitals and disaster-relief centres to luxury airborne cruise ships.


Link via Popular Science | Image: Skylifter

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Have you read the recent articles regarding the depleting natural reserves of Helium? That rare gaz cost might be multiplied by a 100 in a few decades. Not sure blimps are a viable business model.
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Cool Idea. Cargolifter failed. But they are not completely out of business.

I think this idea has real potential! Energy efficent transporation without having to care for load and size limits on roads. Just look at the logistical nightmares they usually have when transporting huge industrial components, this would be done without any hassle with such a thing.

I really hope they succed!
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