Imagine, sailing ships and skyships plying the waters of the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine, moving goods back and forth along traditional trade routes that are centuries old. Imagine also that we design these ships to reduce impacts on the right whales and other species that we share these waters with.
Is this an opportunity to rebuild an energy efficient shipping industry based on wind power and environmentally sound technologies? Take the story below for example. Does this simple sail really reduce fuel consumption up to 50% under the right conditions. If that is the case, then why are we not moving to redesign our fleets around these new/old concepts. Take a look at the dirigible story below as another example. But look at the dates. This was all during the last crisis. Why not start redesigning from scratch, It’s not like sailing ships and sky-ships are something new. Has anyone started to move forward in a progressive way to bring the best designer brains together to solve these problems and allow us to coexist in this shrinking world? Maybe the Atlantica concept can get some lateral motion and truly address ALL of our needs not just the same old profit-driven bunch masking themselves under a great brand name!
Beluga Group equiped a shipping freighter with a sail, specifically a SkySail, a parachute-shaped sail that is the size of a football field. The Ship, MS Beluga SkySails, departed on its first trans-Atlantic voyage earlier in the week. According to Beluga and SkySail, a ship‘s fuel costs can be reduced by 10- 35% on annual average, depending on wind conditions. Under optimal wind conditions, fuel consumption can temporarily be reduced by up to 50%.
High fuel costs are also spurring the return of lighter-than-air dirigibles. The British firm Airship Industries is developing a 600-ft. freight-carrying airship. Unlike the ill-fated zeppelin Hindenburg, whose 1937 explosion at Lakehurst, N.J., doomed airship travel, the new dirigibles will be filled with inert, nonflammable helium rather than potentially dangerous hydrogen. Britain’s Redcoat Cargo Airlines will take delivery of four of the $9.5 million skyships beginning in 1984. The airline claims that they will cost slightly less to operate than a jumbo jet and have 56% more cargo space. The airships, which will be powered by four 1,150 h.p. turboprop engines, will cruise at about 3,000 ft. They will have a top speed of 86 m.p.h. and be able to cross the Atlantic in 2½ days. As the price of energy keeps soaring, transport ships and dirigibles assisted by free air may be gliding gracefully back into popularity.
That’s how I see it today!