“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