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SatControlled CrossOcean Zeppelin

For cargo or even passengers
  (+5, -2)
(+5, -2)
  [vote for,

Like a toy RC blimp, but this one is large, and takes cargo or passengers to great distances, controlled via a satellite phone, GPS unit and digital controller. No on-board crew is necessary.

Fuel is received from a small connected detachable Zeppelin. The SCCO Zeppelin can refuel by changing refuel zeppelins in midair.

pashute, May 05 2009

Airship Ventures http://www.airshipventures.com/
Zepplins are still useful as a vehicle [pashute, May 05 2009]

Hinkelstein http://www.youtube....watch?v=t-dAMkbbaOw
The Hinkelstein airship during the dirigible regata at Munich [pashute, May 05 2009]


       Tis good...til somebody hacks the onboard computer.   

       Why is it so necessary not to have a crew? Given how long a pan-pacific crossing would take in a zeppelin (at least several days) - wouldn't you need a crew, at least just to feed and tend to the passengers?   

       What about in a storm, equipment failure, communications breakdown, etc? What fantasy land are we living in here where you'd put [panicky, needy, untrained, and most of all, in your duty of care] passengers on a vessel without some kind of attendant crew? Even for a short voyage that would be rediculous. Add in the increased potential for something to go wrong over a long voyage, and it's absurd.   

       I honestly think zeppelin is potentially a highly efficient mode of travel. Scrap the fuel ships, make it solar powered (with storage for overnight power), possibly make it reasonably high altitude (to have a shot at getting more sunlight, not sure what the feasibility of this is) - and you'll get my bun.
Custardguts, May 06 2009

       How would you defend these blimps against sky pirates?
Aristotle, May 06 2009

       Crewless pirate ships???
aussiedigger, May 06 2009

       Trained albatrosses?
hippo, May 06 2009

       I think he's wanting to say that in a cargo only context a crew is not required.   

       With passengers on board, a hospitality crew and possibly a couple of pilots for emergencies could be used.   

       If we're going to have large amounts of electricity on board from the solar panels, just make sure there's a large charge on the hull to defend from pirates!
Skrewloose, May 07 2009

       Most modern jets can take off, fly, navigate and land crewless these days. The crew are there almost 'just in case'. Still - I would *never* go on a crewless jet and I don't think anyone else would. Granted, airships tend to stay up without power but there's many other emergencies that can befall them, even without the dreaded pirates.
wagster, May 07 2009

       An automated dirigible, laden with cargo, still poses a risk to the general public. Those things can crash, shed a container (I assume they would be containerised) or decide to fly into something.   

       I think you would need cargo custodians of the kind used on Thames, who were called lightermen. These would look after Thames barges, were responsible for their cargo and make sure that the levels of "wastage" involved weren't too heavy.   

       The Thames was more prone to have thieving toe- rags, rather than pirates ...
Aristotle, May 07 2009

       What's a custard?
pashute, May 13 2009


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