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“Non-Smoking, Please”

I guess someone must have missed the lesson of the Hindenburg: Giant hydrogen airships could herald a new era in luxury travel

Image: Seymourpowell/PA

Set aside the obvious problems with floating bags of hydrogen large enough to lift nearly 400 tons of payload over major cities, and their obvious appeal as terrorist targets, and the fact that obtaining that much hydrogen would not be as green as the creators imagine.

I want to know how they’re packaging this monster.

The windows at the lower apex suggest most if not all of the accommodations are there…which makes sense, since you want the mass on the bottom (think Weebles). But what about the hydrogen cells? Is an octahedron with concave sides really the best way to package large volumes of gas that want to assume a spherical shape? Oh sure, the thing could be fitted with conformal cells, but how structurally efficient would all of this be compared with other, less eye-appealing shapes?

On the other hand, I do like the rendering of tethered airships against the backdrop of Hong Kong – it makes me think of the floating cities from the Ringworld books.

[hat tip: JB]

1 comment to “Non-Smoking, Please”