Inspiration I: the return of the airships
While airships were able to fill the empty headlines in the popular media during the summer with the recent deal between British manufacturer HAV and Spanish regional airline Air Nostrum, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and his company LTA Research (after "lighter than air") are looking for applications in cargo transport.
LTA's goal is to build huge airships to provide humanitarian aid in places where conventional transportation can't reach. Helium-filled "Pathfinder 3", at 183 m long and 30.5 m in diameter, is designed to carry about 20 t and be able to traverse as many as 16,000 km using electric-only, zero-emission propulsion, is in the final planning stages in the iconic airdock of Akron, OH.
The largest airship to be built in the USA since the 1930s is expected to start taking shape later this year, with its first flight coming in 2023 or 2024. (ah)