Researchers calculate optimal transatlantic route for »solar zeppelin«

Researchers at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen Nürnberg (FAU) and the Technische Universität München (TUM) have calculated the optimal route from London to New York for a solar airship. According to this, the linear distance of 5,570 kilometers between the two cities could be covered within two days and one night on the outward flight to New York, and within three days and two nights on the return flight. The optimal route calculated for the airship and thus the distance to be covered varies depending on the season.
Professor Christoph Pflaum from FAU considers such travel times acceptable for most freight transports, and he also sees an opportunity for passenger transport: »After all, travelling in an airship is much more comfortable than in a conventional aircraft. There's room for a dining room and a lounge and fancy two-bed rooms for passengers.«
To achieve this, the solar zeppelins would have to be equipped with highly efficient solar cells and extremely light batteries on board. »Unfortunately, this solar zeppelin doesn't exist at the moment, but a company in California is spending a lot of money and developing a large, fully rigid airship for the first time in 90 years that offers a lot of space and is well protected in wind and weather.«

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