How airships could make a comeback as cargo carriers

Sir David King, who you know is a big deal because dude's knighted (and he's director of the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at the University of Oxford), sees a different method of freight delivery becoming a reality in the near future: cargo blimps.

While a blimp moves significantly slower than an airplane (currently not going much faster than 75 mph), they could potentially haul more, deliver goods to a wider range of places and do it without leaving a huge carbon footprint.

Where planes rely on fuel and runways, a blimp could take advantage of alternative methods for each. Solar power could keep a blimp in the sky, for instance, and it could be designed to be its own loading dock, so it wouldn't have to land at any specialized facility. Depending on its size, the floating crafts could also haul twice as much as your average 747 freight plane.

Just how possible is the idea? Sir King thinks it could happen within the next 10 years, and that's not as crazy as it may sound. "There are an awful lot of people we talk to who say this is going to happen," said King. "This is something I believe is going to happen."

We have certainly been writing about more and more zeppelins and blimps lately, and all around the world there's been an increased interest in the technology, including America's own Lockheed Martin, which received a grant from the US government.

The Guardian, via Gizmodo