How about a silent and green ride from New York to Paris in a solar-powered blimp? Seems great, isn’t it? Folks over at Turtle Airships, a Spanish company committed to deliver to the world a clean way to travel across continents, recognize the prospects and are working on the design for over a year now. The company is now building a genuine solar-powered prototype that is expected to demonstrate the viability of solar energy to potential funders.
The company is trying to fly a remote controlled model to get some video of the thing in action, which hopefully will get them funded with a couple of million dollars to develop the actual manned prototype. The company claims that they’ve set their technology right and it’s just a matter of a few months before they can fly the first manned blimp, of course after they receive some funds.
Turtle Airships states that they are looking at two unconventional technologies for propulsion. The first being an array of CIG PV cells, which aren’t that efficient but aren’t heavy as well, and can generate about 45KW, which is enough for a top speed of 40mph under average conditions. As a backup mechanism or to prevent the airship from falling onto the ground if the sun starts to play hide and seek, the blimp will also be fitted with one or two diesel drivetrains as well.