Laurens Rademakers


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Blimps - their time has come

Blimps, airships, zeppelins... They used to fly across oceans, with people who enjoyed the ride of their lives.

Bring back the blimp as a means of slow mass travel / transit.

Many studies have shown that blimps will only have a future in niche markets (transporting oil pipelines, working in arctic environments, doing environmental monitoring, military observation, communication relays, etc...).

But I am convinced (I want to be) that the much more enormous tourist market is out there for grabs:

-blimps are cute
-blimps are fuel efficient
-blimps can be entirely powered by renewables
-blimps are not a direct competitor to airplanes
-blimps can cover areas in ways airplanes can't

You can't seriously tell us that 70 years after the Hindenburg, we haven't come up with new materials that make blimps safe and easy to manufacture. Technology can't be a constraint.

Added to this: the market studies are wrong. I want them to be wrong, and I really do think they're wrong.

In short, where's the TEDster who will invest / push for the development of a modern passenger blimp? I guarantee he will get a great return on his investment.

And: would you holiday in one of these majestic whales of the sky?

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    Jul 11 2011: So I know little about blimps, how are they efficient. I seems like they would use a lot of fuel.
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      Jul 17 2011: Well, the fuel use per passenger-kilometer for airships is about 1/4th that of an airplane. Of course, airships are less speedy, and speed has a great value.

      But airships are seen as much more eco-friendly than airplanes.
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    Jul 10 2011: Yep one can see the practical application of low speed transport but maybe in the area of freight that is deamed non essential upon goods arrival time?
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    Jul 9 2011: I quite agree Laurens, blimps do have some great advantages... I would wish to see a lot more of them.