The return of the blimp: First passanger blimps since 1937 may take off in 2025

GinandTonic

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Do they say what gas they use? I guess helium, but there is not enough of that to make this a significant contribution to travel. Hydrogen does not have that problem, but has another minor downside.

wiki says dynastats are heavier than air with the body providing aerodynamic lift. Helium doesn't have to be vented to adjust buoyancy, so they should consume a fraction of gas. The downside is that with a heavy load they would still need a short "runway" to get up to speed.
 

Samson

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Can we not produce Helium if we needed to?
To actually make helium you would need to do fusion. We extract it from natural gas, but that only gives us a limited amount, we need it for lots of stuff like MRI's and quantum computers, and we should be using less gas 'cos global warming.
 

Aiken_Drumn

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Michkov

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To actually make helium you would need to do fusion. We extract it from natural gas, but that only gives us a limited amount, we need it for lots of stuff like MRI's and quantum computers, and we should be using less gas 'cos global warming.

Fusion plants wouldn't produce an appreciable amount of Helium, they are probably a net Helium sink with their cooling needs. Keep in mind the same MRI magnets are used to contain the plasma they fuse.
 

gangleri2001

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I wish these could be real, but every time a company comes out touting these, it just never becomes reality

It seems to be different this time. As far as I know, this company has financing and backing from the EU and they only plan to implement it in places where a body of water make a blimp a suitable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional flight or a ferry. It roughly takes the same time as a ferry and it helps remove some of the highly polutant air traffic. Not to mention that ferries also contribute their fair share to pollution. However, this only makes sense in places like the aforementioned Belfast-Liverpool or Barcelona-Mallorca.
 
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gangleri2001

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It has been announced!!!!

3 days ago Air Nostrum announced that they'd be buying a whole fleet of these airships and everybody was expecting that the announcment of the first route would be imminent.

20 mintues ago (4 pm, local time) Air Nosturm announced the first flight. It will be the Barcelona-Palma de Mallorca route and it will take place during the summer of 2026 and the exact date will be announced once they have passed the whole certification process and get the authorization to start selling the tickets. Here's a link to the news:

https://www.vilaweb.cat/noticies/barcelona-palma-zepeli-air-nostrum-2026/

The announcement is so recent that I can only find it in local news outlets in Catalan and Spanish. I cannot find it in English yet.

This is so exciting! Just 4 more years and the blimps will be back!!!!
 

Samson

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It has been announced!!!!

3 days ago Air Nostrum announced that they'd be buying a whole fleet of these airships and everybody was expecting that the announcment of the first route would be imminent.

20 mintues ago (4 pm, local time) Air Nosturm announced the first flight. It will be the Barcelona-Palma de Mallorca flight and it will take place during the summer of 2026 and the exact date will be announced once they have passed the whole certification process and get the authorization to start selling the tickets. Here's a link to the news:

https://www.vilaweb.cat/noticies/barcelona-palma-zepeli-air-nostrum-2026/

The announcement is so recent that I can only find it in local news outlets in Catalan and Spanish. I cannot find it in English yet.

This is so exciting! Just 4 more years and the blimps will be back!!!!
Very cool. Google translate seems to do a reasonable job:

Spoiler Autotranslate :

The Valencian company Air Nostrum has signed an agreement with the British company Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) to use the Airlander 10 airships with the aim of establishing a route between Barcelona and Palma.

The agreement is that the first zeppelin will be operational, after obtaining the certificate, in 2026, and HAV will continue to deliver units to Air Nostrum for the next five years until it reaches ten aircraft. The Airlander 10, with a capacity for ninety passengers, would become the largest commercial aircraft in the world, with ninety-one meters in length, thirty-four in width and a height equivalent to a ten-story building.

The president of Air Nostrum, Carlos Bertomeu , explains that the aim of this pioneering association is to "explore all avenues to reduce the carbon footprint" and that "the Airlander 10 will drastically reduce emissions." For his part, Hybrid Air Vehicles CEO Tom Grundy says production of the Airlander will begin this year and that "this will create thousands of jobs."
Barcelona-Palma in just over four hours

The total travel time between Barcelona and Palma by air is expected to be similar to that of commercial aircraft: just over four hours if you calculate the journey from city center to city center. However, the attraction of the zeppelin is that it pollutes much less.

The Airlander 10 produces only 8.6% of the CO> produced by an aircraft. The zeppelin emits 4.54 kg of CO2 per passenger and the plane, 52.8. In addition, HAV’s goal is for the hybrid-electric motors it uses now to become fully electric by 2030, which would provide emissions-free travel.

Similarly, compared to ferries , we find that there is a similar amount of CO2 per passenger, but the journey is done in half the time: four and a half hours instead of almost ten from the ship.

This zeppelin is mainly designed for short routes, despite having a range of 3,700 kilometers. Short routes are currently the most polluting journeys, and despite having a top speed of 130 km / h, the fact that you don't need a long runway to land and take off is an advantage. All you need is a reasonably flat surface, where the structure can be housed and little else. In addition, this would make it an alternative in places that do not have an airport or on islands.

Zeppelins lived through the golden age of the first three decades of the twentieth century, until the fire of the Hindenburg Airship in 1937. Since then, they have played a secondary role in the world of transportation, with applications especially in the advertising, but not in the transport of goods or passengers. However, in a few years everything could change and return to the sky as they did a century ago.




I know those hangers:
 

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https://www.hybridairvehicles.com/n...becomes-airlander-10-launch-airline-customer/

  • Air Nostrum Group reserves ten Airlander 10 aircraft, for operations on regional routes, cutting flight emissions by up to 90%
  • HAV to launch production of fleet in South Yorkshire, UK, this year, creating 1,800 new jobs
  • Operations are set to begin from 2026 onwards


Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), a UK-based leader in sustainable aircraft technologies, today announces an aircraft reservation agreement with one of the largest regional airlines in Europe, Air Nostrum Group, for HAV’s pioneering hybrid aircraft - Airlander 10.

The landmark partnership sees Air Nostrum Group reserve ten 100-seat Airlander 10 aircraft for delivery from 2026 onwards, with a view to begin operations as launch airline.

While the Air Nostrum Airlander 10 fleet is set for initial operations across Spain, HAV plans to launch production of the aircraft in South Yorkshire UK, this year, creating thousands of skilled jobs in green aerospace technologies and supporting levelling up across the region.

The reservation agreement follows six months of rigorous studies and modelling carried out by Air Nostrum Group and HAV into the operation of Airlander 10 on Spanish domestic aviation routes and the associated economics. Airlander 10 aircraft are expected to diversify and complement Air Nostrum Group’s existing aircraft fleet currently operating on these routes, carrying 100 passengers while producing only around one tenth of the harmful emissions.
 

uppi

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Have they announced where it will land and start? If I see this correctly, it would need 300m of runway, and this thing is more than 40m wide, so the runway needs to be quite wide as well. This is not something you would find near the city center of Barcelona. I would guess the nearest place it could start would be the airport, so you would lose all the time advantage compared to a regular airplane.

Does this swim? Since it is not much heavier than air, it might be able to. I haven't seen any evidence of water starts/landings, but I guess it could be an option for coastal cities.
 

Aiken_Drumn

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Why would it need any runway at all, doesn't it float up and down? Any field will do.
 

uppi

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Why would it need any runway at all, doesn't it float up and down? Any field will do.

Because it is heavier than air. Which neatly solves the problem of making it land without venting helium. But if I understand this correctly, this means would lift off at something like 40 km/h, so you are going to need some sort of runway.

Even if any field would do, this is not something you usually have near city centers.
 

Birdjaguar

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I wonder how they do in very windy conditions?
 

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gangleri2001

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Have they announced where it will land and start?

No mentioning of a prize? I'm still curious.

Looks like they are still amidst the whole certification process and these details won't be clarified until the certifications are obtained. Then they'll clarify all these once they start preparing the first flight. Still, 4 years is plenty of time so we shall see.
 
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