Sunday, February 01, 2009

Airship Z-Prize

The Airship Z-Prize is an effort to develop a freight transport airship for humanitarian logistics support and as a green transport solution using an innovation prize. The site provides numerous links and pages about the advantages and history of airships, and also has a blog section. I assume the "Z" stands for Zeppelin - or is it Zero Emission? Here are a few posts on the prize itself (rather than general airship news, which is also included in the blog):

Airship Deutsch Prize - 1901 - some prize history

Seeking Initial Sponsorship Support

Z-Prize Criteria Development Workshop Planned

Z-Prize Preparations in Progress!

Can Modern Transport Airships Change the World? -

Beyond the significant carbon reduction opportunities airship technology represents for transportation uses, their ability to take off and land vertically without fixed infrastructure such as runways would make transport airships an invaluable tool in the effective delivery of humanitarian aid and the servicing of remote communities. ...

Sadly, many among the general populace, business world and governments immediately dismiss the potential of a transport airship solution because of the negative perceptions created and still enduring since the 1937 Hindenburg Disaster. This disaster was more than 70 years ago utilizing the most primitive of materials, methods and technologies. In 2008 and beyond, we have access to so many superior materials both for airship skeleton and envelope, as well as interior cells for lift and buoyancy. ...

There is no doubt that the number one requirement for starting a major renewal and modern upgrade of airship transport technology is money. And given the tough economic times facing the world over the next several years, attracting such money on a pure research and development grant basis is unlikely. This is precisely why we truly believe the Airship Z-Prize is the most appropriate way of spurring the development of a viable transport airship industry forward.

Meet the Airship Z-Prize Founders