On a global level, there has long been an expectation that aircraft progress is largely limited to that of airplanes and helicopters. Although these types of aircraft obviously remain some of the most prominent in the world, Israeli firm LTA has created a type of airship that is considered by many to be the first of its kind. LTA may not immediately sound familiar; it is a newer firm and perhaps less well-known than some of its competitors. But nonetheless, its contributions to the aeronautical space could ultimately be quite significant due not only to the breadth and capabilities of its new airship, but the fact that the airship itself is meant to be more comfortable, more affordable, and even more environmentally friendly than much of its potential competition.
While LTA’s creation is remarkable, it was not invented in a bubble. In fact, before they existed the AU-30s existed. But these airships were made for different purposes entirely. AU-30s were often chartered for land surveying projects, as well as photography. Understandably, it was difficult in the early 20th century for photographers to get accurate photographs from a great height; the best option for many of them was to rise high through the usage of AU-30s. Today, the AU-30 can be deemed something of a model for the airships created by LTA, otherwise known as the Atlas-11s. But the purposes for these airships are quite different.
While the AU-30s were made with the practical usages associated with land surveying and photography, the Atlas-11 airships are meant to be used for tourism purposes. This development can be compared somewhat to recent usages for airplanes. While airplanes were originally used for transporting goods and eventually military purposes, gradually commercial travel airlines became popular. Now people can even charter planes for their own private use, whether they’re jetsetting about or taking a small seaplane in order to get a great view of the water. The Atlas-11 could potentially be revolutionary in a similar sense, not just in terms of what it allows people to do, but in terms of the way that it avoids harming the environment.
How Do The Atlas-11 Airships Work?
The Atlas-11 airships stand as feats of modern engineering. But that doesn’t mean that they are necessary easily understood by laypeople. The airships rely in part on safe helium. This in itself makes them not only safer to use, but also less environmentally harmful. The other part of their systems is backed up by electric propulsion systems, which join the launch ability that is provided by the helium itself. This means that the Atlas-11 airships actually lack carbon footprints entirely, which cannot be said about virtually any other kind of aircraft. No matter what types of Sikorsky helicopter parts are used for Black Hawk helicopters, for example, a carbon footprint will still remain. Additionally, Atas-11 airships are incredibly quiet, without the roaring motors associated with other types of aircraft. This means that they can potentially be used more widely in certain, more private locales without harming the environment or disturbing the residents.
What Is the Atlas-11 Used For?
There are a lot of potential purposes for an innovation like the Atas-11 airship. But what LTA had in mind when creating the aircraft was tourism. The tourism industry is growing. As previously mentioned, lots of people like to go on sightseeing tours by plane in this day and age. It’s also become increasingly common for people to charter a sailboat in order to get to where they want to go and see what they want to see. People simply don’t want to go on typical tours anymore. They want to enjoy something different and exciting and are willing to pay a premium in order to do it. Therefore, there is a huge potential market for airships to really interrupt and impact the tourism industry.
Right now, the main option for aerial tours is the helicopter. The issue with helicopters for aerial tours is that they are quite loud, for one thing. This disrupts the tour experience, and a lot of people are unable to relax and talk to each other as they go on their tours. Furthermore, there is a level of anxiety that can be produced by the combination of the noise from a helicopter and the wind currents produced by the helicopter’s propellors. Another issue to be found with helicopter tours is that they tend to be very small. Only a few people can ride a helicopter together at one time. Large events cannot be held on helicopters, the way they potentially can be on Atlas-11 airships. Furthermore, there will be different types of people with access to these tours, compared to those that traditionally would be able to take helicopter tours.
Helicopter tours can actually be quite uncomfortable. Lots of people find themselves unable to relax on these tours, as previously mentioned. But there is also the issue of there being a lack of space, as well as a lack of comfortable seating. This makes it incredibly difficult for parents to take their children with them on helicopter tours. On the Atlas-11 airships, children will have room to sit comfortably but also move around if need be. In a similar sense, this will also benefit senior citizens. Seniors often find themselves uncomfortable on helicopters, especially if they have stiff joints or a limited range of mobility. Seniors that are undergoing arthritis treatment or other medical procedures may find themselves turned off by the lack of space offered by helicopters. Therefore, Atlast-11 airships offer them the ability to go out and enjoy earlier tours without risking their health.
While there is some work to be done in hammering out the details of the Atlas-11 airships, it is expected that they will be able to reach speeds to 60 to 80 miles per hour, as well as altitudes between 300 and 1,500 meters. The reality is that while these heights and speeds may not seem especially shocking, they’re best for the airships’ purposes. People do not want to be moving too quickly or too far above the ground to take in what they are attempting to see and admire in the first place. Each seat on the aircraft will additionally have large observation windows, and observation decks will also be readily available. These can be created in part with the help of a custom metal fabrication service, ensuring that people are able to spread out and see what they’re looking for, rather than gathering on a cramped observation deck. Furthermore, these airships will be carefully kept up by cleaning crews. After all, there isn’t much of a point in great expanses of window glass if that glass is not properly kept clean.
What Is the Future of Airships?
Airships may seem rather futuristic and strange to some, but they’re closer to being common and absorbed into the tourism industry than many may think. LTA has made a huge stride in terms of normalizing and establishing an airship through the creation of the Atlas-11. The airship actually has a launch year projected. In 2023, the Atlas-11 airship is expected to launch with half-hour rides. Ticket prices for these rides will be set at $200. While this may initially seem high for some, in fact, this is equivalent to or more affordable than what would be expected when you book a helicopter tour. While riding an airship, travelers additionally will not need to worry about requiring hearing aids after the outing is over! Each airship will be able to hold 17 people and will be operating at relatively low costs.
LTA may be one of the more creative innovators looking to offer these airship tours, but it certainly does not do so alone. Sweden’s OceanSky Cruises started to offer roundtrip five star luxury airship tours to the North Pole in 2019, and Chinese developers are beginning to create airships that are going to be the size of blue whales. In the future, a lot of the airships that are in the air could be considered quite similar to the cruise ships people use today. But not everyone is necessarily going to want to be on a cruise. They may want shorter tours, and they’ll certainly like the idea of paying less while still having a fantastic experience. This is the kind of space that can be filled by the LTA Atlas-11 airships in terms of the airship tourism market.
How Will the Atlas-11 Affect the Environment?
The focus should really be less on how the Atlas-11 will affect the environment, and more on how it will not affect the environment. Right now, a lot of the machines used for travel and tourism are hugely pollution-heavy. Airplanes have been critiqued in recent years because of the fuel that they use, as well as the way their emissions harm the airborne ecosystem. Cruise ships have received similar complaints in recent years, spilling out tons of pollution into the sea. The great thing about the Atlas-11 airship is that it really eliminates this concern. This can be a major coup for travelers, as many of them do feel anxiety about the idea of using equipment that is bad for the environment, especially among younger generations.
It should also be noted that this airship will not only be able to disrupt the tourism market but in the future potentially replace some of its less environmentally friendly alternatives. Rather than going on an airplane or helicopter for a tour, which will potentially leave quite the carbon footprint, travelers in the future may choose instead eco-friendly travel on an airship. There are lots of reasons why people may feel more concerned about the environment now than they did years ago. But as much as they may feel concerned, a lot of them may not feel as if they have a lot of alternate options to the traditional cruise ships, boat tours, plane tours, or helicopter tours that are currently the mainstays in the tourism industry. As previously mentioned, the airships will not only allow people to be more comfortable and travel in larger groups; it will allow them to sightsee in a way that is less environmentally impactful on a negative level.
Additionally, it should be noted that what LTA is doing specifically with its airships is perhaps the most important consideration of all. Let’s make the cruise ship comparison again. While in the past airships were only accessible for people who were in a certain tax bracket, now there are high-quality affordable cruises available, able to cut down costs by offering shorter trips or for that matter slightly smaller cruise ships. This way, people with a wide variety of different financial backgrounds are able to go on cruises, which has ultimately made cruising a more popular form of tourism. In the same sense, these smaller airships offering shorter tours will be able to compete with larger airships offering longer, more expensive tours. This will increase the popularity of the type of airship that LTA is offering, ultimately meaning that this airship, with its lack of carbon footprint, will be used more often. Ultimately, both people that cannot necessarily afford or want a long stay in an airship and those that do will be able to experience this technological marvel.
The reality is that for a lot of people, airship travel will; change the way that they see the world. They will be more able to enjoy not only the skies but what they are looking at below. Additionally, they will be able to do with a minimal carbon footprint. These are just a few of the reasons why airships could be the future of the tourism industry, and why LTA is one of the new leaders within the industry itself.