Rigid SHELLED Lighter-than-Air, >200mph, AMPHIBIOUS, all weather passenger airships. SOLAR POWERED with Bio-fuel backup powerUnfortunately there is today no airship that can even tick one of those boxes there is no rigid shelled airship, none that flies faster than 200mph, non that is amphibious or can fly in all weather. No human carrying airship that is solar powered or uses bio-fuel. Tree Hugger has written about Turtle Airships in 2007 but published a quite critical article just recently which you can read here. This article came in response to a press release that Turtle Airships issued. Read on for the full text:
Giant Flying Turtles to Revolutionize Global Aviation with Solar Powertook Zeppelin almost 8 years to get the Zeppelin NT certified. So a round the world flight in 2009 seems very unlikely to me. We wish Darrell and his Company all the luck in the world and we hope to see pictures and videos of the prototype soon, because 2009 is approaching fast. if you want to read more about Turtle Airships it's best to take a look at the Turtle Airships Blog were Darrell actively promotes his designs and outline why traditional blimps are not the best solution. He also writes two other blogs MILITARY- AIRSHIPS (no blimps) and solar flight! which are also promoting his ideas.
A new way to fly! Turtle Airships company announces the beginning of construction iof a demonstration model of a new form for lighter-than-air airships. The airships are not blimps. They are solar powered and will reach speeds of 200 mph.
Valencia, Spain (PRWEB) July 2, 2008 -- Turtle Airships company will change the world aviation industry with 200 mph solar powered airships. Constructed with rigid shelled hulls of aluminum and carbon fiber, the airships look like giant turtles. These "turtle" airships are not blimps or zeppelins. The airships are being designed in Spain and the U.S.
Construction has started on a first prototype and the first flight and testing is scheduled to be done in Singapore this year. Turtle Airships will make a demonstration around-the-world flight of the new solar powered airship in 2009.
The airships' hulls are covered with solar cells which power the airships during daylight hours. For flying at night or cloudy weather, the airships use bio-diesel fueled jet engines as a back-up system. The airships cruise at speeds which are comparable to some airplanes.
The airships take off and land straight up and down like a helicopter and are amphibious. They land directly onto the water and take on water ballast for stability like a boat. The airships can land in harbors, rivers, mountain lakes, or the middle of the ocean.
The airships will also land on any empty field or at airports, and use built in systems to anchor to the surface without ground crew assistance. Turtle airships do not need huge hangers and can fly in any weather.
"Almost everyone immediately thinks of blimps or the Hindenburg," says company president, Darrell Campbell. "The Turtle airship is far more advanced in technology and capabilities."
Although there are less than fifty blimps or zeppelins in the world now, Turtle Airships expects to field hundreds of its' solar powered airships. Turtle Airships plans to invest over $200 million in airship manufacturing plants and airship operations by 2012; with an expected (IPO) public offering to raise over $3 billion scheduled for 2015. To reach these goals the company will work with local and national Economic Development agencies throughout the world to train workers and develop solar powered airship programs. Turtle Airships will also enter into joint ventures and is seeking venture capital and private investments which are directed toward alternative fuels and solar energy.
The company will concentrate on building airships meant for the travel market, with secondary emphasis given to military applications. The company had been originally considered for a U.S. Department of Defense airship program called "WALRUS", which was to create giant airships for military transport. Turtle Airships is designing airships for security surveillance and interdiction of pirates in the waters off of Somalia, Indonesia, and Nigeria.
Turtle Airships will also use "flying hospitals" to deliver worldwide humanitarian aid. Carrying doctors, foods, emergency equipment and other supplies, airships can avoid delays and complex delivery systems by flying to disaster areas and landing directly where help is needed. The airships will be made available to the United Nations, International Red Cross, Red Crescent, and other aid organizations.
"Turtle Airships is the only company in the world that is focused on creating a new aviation industry based on solar powered flight," says Campbell. "We can save over $100 billion each year on fuel costs alone, another several hundred billion dollars in airport construction, and eliminate a major source of carbon emissions. Airships are a trillion dollar industry, still in its' infancy, that will grow for decades."
Darrell Campbell is the designer of the "turtle" airship, and president of the twenty-seven year old company.
For additional information, and direct email address, visit the company Web page at www.turtleairships.com or visit a company Web blog at www.turtleairships.blogspot.com.
So what do you think. Does it sound like a hoax or a scam to you or do you think the idea is brilliant? Do you maybe even know more, have additional pictures or inside information? Please share them with us in the comments, by sending us an email or by talking to other fellow readers in the Forum