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Futuristic airship scheme plan unveiled to transform Siberia and the Arctic

By The Siberian Times reporter
13 August 2016

Modern-day zeppelins costing $30 million each would revolutionise transport links and economic exploitation of Siberia in $240 billion plan.

The projet was named 'United Eurasia'. Picture: RosAeroSystems

The Russian Security Council is reported to have presented a draft to the government for consideration. It envisages 'transport and logistic' corridors linking Siberia, the Far East and the Arctic.

The advanced airships would enable passenger and cargo traffic between, or example, the Northern Sea Route along the north of the Russian land mass, and the Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur Mainline railways. 

The scheme offers integrated shipping and aviation 'hubs' to create conditions 'for the country to move to a new social and economic level through the deep exploration of Siberia, the Far East and the Arctic', according to a letter on the plan presented to Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.

It is claimed that a single new-style airship could do the work of five Mi-8 helicopters in the Russian far north. 

Russia is one of a number of countries where new generation airships are being built. The Augur-RosAeroSystems Holding is set to build the futuristic airship Atlant by the end of 2018.

These vast flying machines have been called 'half plane, half airship', with the versatility to remain in the air for days at a time, and land without requiring a traditional airport. 

Larger versions are expected to outsize a Boeing 747. 

Futuristic airship scheme plan unveiled to transform Siberia and the Arctic
The projet would be complete by 2035, it was claimed. Picture: RosAeroSystems


The second coming of airships is boosted by a transformation of design - for example, they can now counter strong winds - which makes them suitable for environments like the Arctic where other forms of transport encounter problems. 

The Hindenburg disaster in 1937 - in which 35 passengers and one ground crew perished when the German airship caught fire landing New Jersey - cast a pall over the reputation of this mode of transport. Yet as Kommersant newspaper revealed Russian Security Council and Academician Alexander Nekipelov see the new plan known as 'Project Eurasia' as a viable strategy for the future.

With an eye-watering estimated cost of $220-$240 billion it should stimulate development of Siberia, the Russian Far East and the Arcic, and encourage America and the EU to lift sanctions in exchange for participation, it is claimed.

Two transport corridors 9,600 km long would take in the Northern Sea Route, benefiting from more ice free months each year due to climate change, and high speed rail links on an upgraded Russian Railways network.

This would create a logistical infrastructure with waterways, aviation hubs, fast-assembling runways for small aviation, and large airships for long haul cargo flights, the authors of the project say. 

Futuristic airship scheme plan unveiled to transform Siberia and the Arctic

Futuristic airship scheme plan unveiled to transform Siberia and the Arctic

Futuristic airship scheme plan unveiled to transform Siberia and the Arctic
Futuristic airship scheme plan unveiled to transform Siberia and the Arctic
Futuristic airship scheme plan unveiled to transform Siberia and the Arctic

Futuristic airship scheme plan unveiled to transform Siberia and the Arctic
Two transport corridors 9,600 km long would take in the Northern Sea Route, benefiting from more ice free months each year due to climate change, and high speed rail links on an upgraded Russian Railways network. Pictures: RosAeroSystems, Slava Titov, Trans-Siberian Info


They believe this would lead to the exploration of remote territories, create high-tech enterprises, develop labour migration and tourism, and also 'tie-up' people via 7 million workplaces. The airships would carry a payload of to 16 tonnes, with a flight range from 2,000 to 5,000 kilometres. 

The project would be complete in 2035, it is claimed. 

Among suggested participants are China, the USA and EU countries which could take part and 'in exchange lift the sanctions.' 

The project is 'the most secure from the geopolitical point of view', the authors believe, giving new mutually beneficial co-operation with US and EU 'a more solid ground'.

They also believe that the scale of the project and investment return during 15-20 years will interest business and will 'help to repatriate Russian capital from offshores'.

Futuristic airship scheme plan unveiled to transform Siberia and the Arctic


Futuristic airship scheme plan unveiled to transform Siberia and the Arctic


Futuristic airship scheme plan unveiled to transform Siberia and the Arctic
The suggested participants are China, the USA and EU. Pictures: RosAeroSystems


Nekipelov explained that the main idea of the  idea is a 'long term consolidation of Russian economic space, its exploration, and development of Russia's transport potential' 

Aviation expert Vladimir Karnozov was sceptical, arguing airships have never proved commercially viable. 

They are hard to organise in a constantly working transport system, and long haul routes like Europe to Asia are complicated by strong winds, which makes them  a  weak competitor to other modes of transport, he said. 

Comments (4)

This looks like a copy of the new British Airship nicknamed, the "Flying Bum". It's real name of course is the Airlander & its similar looking to your "Flying Bum". Or your proposed "Flying Bum". I wonder have they copy-catted it? There may be patent issues down the line.
Jaker, Dundalk
20/08/2016 11:24
0
0
It is just another kind of transport which Will find its use, the same way as the hyperloop, even if conventional trains, planes, helicopters and vehicles will continue leading. In remote areas, helicoptersi are used more oftenly but probably in some areas this kind of zeppelin will be complementary to them.
Enrique, Spain
17/08/2016 00:03
1
0
good for them. because there is no need to build long runways where planes can land. and since they do not use that gas that -killed- the Hindenburg, should be a safe mode of flight. great idea. though how long will it take before the first one will fly? and how much money will disappear before the first one will be even constructed?
Benedikt, Moscow
14/08/2016 02:33
4
0
sounds like hot air to me ?
Johnny, Ireland
13/08/2016 17:57
3
1
1

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