Could Airships be the Green Future of City-Hopping Air Travel?

Could Airships be the Green Future of City-Hopping Air Travel?

When the world becomes increasingly aware of the deadly carbon footprint left behind by air travel, may it be time to bring back the glimpse? Hybrid Air Vehicles, a UK-based company, recently unveiled a new concept design for their nearly 100-passenger aircraft that is expected to revolutionize hopping in the city while reducing carbon emissions.

Images of glamorous interiors are just an ambitious plan for the moment, but the company argues that air travel from city to city could be appropriate, such as Liverpool to Belfast in the UK, Palma to Barcelona in Spain, or Barcelona Palma in Seattle or Vancouver in Canada. It took a little longer than airplane to travel by air. For example, a flight from Liverpool across the Irish Sea to Belfast includes approximately 4 hours 24 hours minutes, check-in and security time, while the airship will in theory take 5 hours 20 minutes.

However, the amount of carbon dioxide released is 67.75 kilograms (149.36 pounds) per passenger compared to 4.75 kilograms (10.47 pounds) per passenger in the air. The company claims that their standard Airlander 10 model can end the journey with a total 75 percent reduction in emissions compared to conventional aircraft. They are finally hoping to introduce a hybrid-electric model by 2025, which generates emissions by 90 percent, followed by a fully electric model by 2030 that will be a zero-emission aircraft.

About 2.4 percent of global CO2 emissions from the use of fossil fuels come from the aviation industry, and the combined water vapor trails released by aircraft account for about five percent of global warming. This does not sound like much of a concern, but it is important to keep in mind that only a fraction of the world’s population flies regularly, and that frequent flying “elite minorities” cause climate damage. To further indulge in air travel aficionados, the company is hopeful that the experience will be more enjoyable than the usual type of sticky stat and minimal legroom. George Land, Commercial Business Development Director at Hybrid Air Vehicles, said in a recent statement, “For decades, flying from here to there has meant sitting on a metal tube with a small window – it’s a necessity, but not always a pleasure. On Airlander, the whole experience is pleasant, even enjoyable.”

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