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Published on July 7th, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan

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Blimps to Replace Aircraft for Freight Transport (at least) in Near Future, Leading Scientist Says

July 7th, 2010 by  


blimps to replace aircaft scientist says

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“Helium-powered ships could be carrying freight – and even passengers – in as little as a decade’s time,” Juliette Jowit of the Guardian reports.

One of the world’s leading scientists, the UK’s former chief scientific adviser Professor Sir David King, told attendees at the World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment in Oxford recently that massive helium balloons would soon replace aircraft for much of global trade.

“Despite languishing in sci-fi B-movies for most of the last 70 years, King said several major air and defence companies, including Boeing and Lockheed Martin, were working on designs, and the US defence department had recently made a large grant to help develop the technology,” Jowit says.

These helium-powered machines could be carrying freight or even passengers in less than 10 years, King said.

“There are an awful lot of people we talk to who say this is going to happen, ” said King. “This is something I believe is going to happen.”

With much of our greenhouse gas emissions coming from transportation, this could make a huge dent in global warming pollution.

“A recent report on mobility by the Smith School, for example, quoted an estimate by one developer, UK-owned SkyCat, that it could carry twice the weight of strawberries from Spain to the UK of a standard cargo plane, with a 90 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, much of which is from avoiding the huge fuel burn a jet engine uses to take off.”

This is an exciting looking development in the world of transportation. I hope to see it ‘get off the ground’ in the near future.

Photo Credit: the_tahoo_guy via flickr 
 





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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.



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