Airships Could Be Solution To Transport Problems

The Zeppelin NT

A local man has come up with a novel solution to the transport problems on the Islands.

Julian Pearson, Senior House Parent at Mundesley Boarding House, thinks we should be looking at airships.

Julian says the idea came to him while he was browsing the website of German airship manufacturer Zeppelin.

And it’s not just hot air. He contacted them and, rather than getting a brush-off, they sent him detailed information about the feasibility of using their 12-passenger Zeppelin NT, or New Technology, airship on the Land’s End to St Mary’s route.

Julian says the 30 mile trip would take about an hour and would be much more environmentally-friendly than existing methods of travel, such as fixed wing planes and helicopters.

And he says arriving in an airship would be a spectacular way to see the islands.

The new breed of airships, which have been in production since the 1990s, are inflated with non-flammable helium gas, unlike the controversial airships of the 1930s which used highly explosive hydrogen.

Zeppelin passenger cabin

They use three propeller engines with tilting rotors giving the aircraft excellent manoeuvrability and this is why Julian thinks the craft could be perfect for our route, with it’s limited short-runway.

Julian says the airships can be used in fog although one drawback is that they can’t operate in winds exceeding 20 knots.

Accommodating the 75m long airships could also be a problem at the airport.

Julian is going to follow up with Zeppelin and obtain more information before talking his idea through with local transport operators.

The craft have mainly been used for advertising and sightseeing trips and there are no scheduled services currently in operation.



2 Responses to Airships Could Be Solution To Transport Problems

  1. Linda November 22, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    AND I THOUGHT THE CUCKOOS ARRIVED IN SPRINGTIME

  2. Jezzer November 22, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    great bit of lateral thinking, and a slow, airbourne approach to the islands would be a unique experience in england, never mind the south-west. economics could stop this project getting off the ground though. I visited Friedrichshaven last year, home of the Zeppelin, and the museum is awesome (33m section of an old Zeppelin to explore), but the cost of scenic flights in a Zeppelin NT were supremely expensive. the “load factor” (ratio of passengers to cost of flight) is the fundamental problem: these gas bags carry 12, plus a pilot, meaning only the very rich or extravagant passengers could probably afford it, which was pretty much the way the economics worked when Zeppelins made regular transatlantic flights in their heyday.