World's 'largest aircraft' gets off ground


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Carrying cargo at a max of 92 MPH? Hope no one is in a hurry to get their stuff.

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Carrying cargo at a max of 92 MPH? Hope no one is in a hurry to get their stuff.

How fast do you think trucks go?

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It wouldn't be as fast as a plane , but it could take off in one depot in say the UK land at another depot in say Finland bypassing airports and the time it takes in sorting parcels and delivery by trucks. It will probably consume far less fuel than a airplane also, a cargo plane needs a considerable amount of forward thrust to produce lift, this craft lift is produced by the helium. so for certain routes it would be faster than a truck or ship but be cheaper than delivery by airplane.

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I love it. We got one planet folks if it means xboxes and playstations arrive 2 weeks later then release im fine with it.

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How fast do you think trucks go?

Not as fast as an airplane. I was always told not to compare apples to oranges. There are cargo AIRPLANES a lot faster than this in service right now that go from hub to hub.

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There are cargo AIRPLANES a lot faster than this in service right now that go from hub to hub. true but cargo planes can never do it anywhere near as cheap as a ship or truck. this craft is in between, faster than a truck or ship , slower than a plane but probably considerably cheaper in cost to weight ratio, as all its fuel is used is for propulsion only not . This craft can be landed in many more locations as it can do so vertically, cargo planes need kms of long runways to do the same. Helium is also much cheaper than jet fuel.

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That craft is 92 meters long. There aren't many places outside airports or heliports that it can land so it will need a fleet of workers and infrastructure to be viable and that alone may make it more expensive. Also, the cargo will still need to be transported by truck to it's final destination. Very niche market for this at best and I don!'t see it catching on.

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92m is about the same length as a 747 . probably wont be used mainstream anytime soon. but it will have its advantages. It can land vertically so can go to places where airports/airstrips cant be built , considerably quieter than a plane or helicopter. and much smaller CO2 footprint. Drones will become increasingly used in the coming decades to deliver parcels. They use to transport passengers in Zeppelin's from city center to city center in the early 1900s docking at the top of tall buildings, could easily be done again today. Since this craft use helium instead of hydrogen its considerably safer also.

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3.7 million dollars is .... almost nothing. I think it is development money well spent, and I guess it makes sense to start out using if for surveillance. It is not the best application, however. It could be used for communications really well in disaster areas. It might be useful for launching and maintaining. swarms of small drones. Artillery spotting. It sounds corny, but solar panels on upper surfaces could give energy for various applications. For weeks.

I suppose if you want to make them unmanned, you might as well use hydrogen, and use them as communication centers and drone tenders. Make them smaller if need be and cut the price down to a few hundred thousand per unit, and sell five of them to the Red Cross for disaster coordination.

If you think about how much infrastructure REMAINS after a strong quake or flood, having a communication link right overhead would make a world of difference in a pinch. Being able to use a cellphone is a life or death proposition in such cases. Two or three of these could have supplied communication needs for most of Tohoku in 2011.

Long term surveillance will become more important for Japan's coastal areas if North Korea keeps acting up. Rather than scrambling planes and ships, a few of these vehicles could remain more or less on station indefinitely.

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It can do the same job as a helicopter but at much less cost/environmental impact and stay in the air for very much longer. Quite right, if you want to get there fast take a jet, and pay the cost in money, environment and landing a long way from your destination, long range high speed transport is not its target market. As it can land on ground, ice, water or just hover it can take stuff to inaccessible locations like drill rigs in the arctic tundra or out to sea, or as one Swedish company already wants to use it for, lowering the top of wind turbines in to place out to sea. Speed is not that critical for a lot of freight, but the ability to go point to point has massive advantages for industry. As it can hold its self on the ground with its engines, unlike the old airships it doesn't need a huge ground force or docking tower. Emergency aid distribution where the infrastructure has been damaged or their simply isn't any infrastructure in the first place is an obvious area of use, as is any long term observation like coast guard or police or resource and other survey work. As it is modular you just swap the module and hire it out to the next customer with the appropriate suite fitted.

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