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Clean Transport

Would You Set Sail in an Airship?


It sounds like science fiction, but Christopher Ottersbach’s concept airship may one day become a reality. The aerodynamic ship seats 2 to 4 people and could potentially travel for two weeks filled with helium. No infrastructure is necessary. Additional thrust and steering is provided by the crew’s pedal-powered propulsion.


The airship’s vertical shape and fold-out stand allows it to land almost anywhere— no airport needed.

And since helium is both non-flammable and non-toxic, airship navigators don’t have to worry about carbon emissions.

The only potential caveat is the rarity of helium— while the element is the second most abundant element in the universe, it is both scarce and finite on Earth. Additionally, it can only be extracted using low temperature gas liquefaction or recovered from natural gas. This pitfall will probably prevent the airship from ever going mainstream, but the ship could provide a hobby for green flying enthusiasts.

Photo Credit: Aeolus

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Written By

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.


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