Forget your flying car and your cure for cancer (fark nod), this is the future I want. I hate planes, but this puppy looks divine. Build this and they will come. Well I will anyway.
This is not a Blimp. It’s a sort of flying Queen Mary 2 that could change the way you think about air travel. It’s the Aeroscraft, and when it’s completed, it will ferry pampered passengers across continents and oceans as they stroll leisurely about the one-acre cabin or relax in their well-appointed staterooms.
Unlike its dirigible ancestors, the Aeroscraft is not lighter than air. Its 14 million cubic feet of helium hoist only two thirds of the craft’s weight. The rigid and surprisingly aerodynamic bodyâ€”driven by huge rearward propellersâ€”generates enough additional lift to keep the behemoth and its 400-ton payload aloft while cruising. During takeoff and landing, six turbofan jet engines push the ship up or ease its descent.
This is what the future should hold, Gernsback-ian flying hotels cruising at 8000 feet, the sound of the piano from the ballroom drifting downwards. My favourite shortstory, by William Gibson, has something similar to one of these wonders in it: The Gernsback Continuum. If you want to read it, an online version is here.
Every so gently, I went over the Edge And looked up to see a twelve-engined thing like a bloated boomerang, all wing, thrumming its way east with an elephantine grace, so low that I could count the rivets in its dull silver skin, and hear maybe the echo of jazz.