In this old thread, we had some fun discussing the possible future revival of LTA airships. Now it appears at least one company is exploring that field in a big way with a new hybrid ship, the Dynalifter – it looks like (and is) a dirigible with wings stuck on. But it’s intended only for cargo shipping. Does this new approach have any possible application to passenger service?
If the things really can go 100 MPH, they might serve the passenger who was considering a train. I imagine sunk costs and overhead to provide slow-speed air transport via these hybrid airships ought to be far less than for long-distance passenger locomotives, and I’d also imagine the landing strips would be relatively easy to locate almost anywhere. They also might provide nice local connectors, or transport to underserved areas, maybe less expensively than turboprops.
There have been long rumors of black, stealth, airships. How true they are remains to be seen, but with our merchant marine issues, heavy lift airships are a pretty darn good idea, I think, and a entirely logical solution to our issues.
Heck, depending on how fuel efficient they are, and if they are able to make them all-weather capable, they might replace long distance buses and trains. Plus, it seems like it would be a more convenient way to transport the huge wind turbines I see being taken down I-20 almost daily.
I had no idea the LTA market had anything going on in it, thanks for the thread.
Mostly that it’s not what it was in WWII, and we really can’t move stuff as fast as we need to hotspots. Our tanks are currently too big for most cargo planes, though the next generation will be smaller, and generally, the concept of the equivalent of a supertanker for military transport would be a good idea. If you add the large number of foreign-flag registrations, it’s just not big enough, IMHO. I don’t think that’s a controversial statement.