Newly established Israeli firm Atlas LTA has developed an innovative first-of-its-kind airship made of the most the most eco-friendly technology available.
Titled Atlas-11, these airships are modernizations of previous AU-30s. But while AU-30s were used for surveillance and photography in the early 21st century, the Atlas-11 is designed for tourism, and to that end, it maximizes comfort, affordability and being eco-friendly.
The airships are each equipped with an electric propulsion system and its launch ability received by safe helium. This not only ensures the flight will be eco-friendly, having eliminated its carbon footprint entirely, but it will also be silent due to the lack of loud motor.
This makes the Atlas-11 an ideal alternative for aerial sightseeing tours. In the current market for aerial tours, the main choices are helicopters, which are extremely loud and stiff, and paragliders, which according to Atlas LTA, are "the exact opposite" of comfort.
On board the Atlas-11, however, is a wide internal space with large chairs and a watching deck with huge windows.
This focus on comfort means aerial tours in general will be made more accessible to young children or the elderly, who often can't go on aerial tours due to the limitations of helicopters and paragliders.
The airships are set to have a flight altitude between 300 to 1,500 meters and a flight speed of around 60-80 km/h. This speed and altitude ensures passengers have an ideal sightseeing experience, which is helped by the large observation windows by each seat and the watching deck.
Atlas-11 is set to literally take off in around 2023, and current expected ticket price tags run at $200 for half-hour rides - more affordable than typical helicopter tours. This is due in part to the large capacity on airships, which can hold 17 passengers, as well as low operational costs.And the potential in airships has not gone unnoticed. Other companies in recent years have also cropped up with similar ideas. In 2019, a Swedish company OceanSky Cruises was reported to be selling tickets for round-trips to the North Pole via luxury, five-star airship, according to the Financial Times. In China, an airship reportedly the size of a blue whale is also set to take off around the same time, with the developers expecting to have a fleet of 150 blue whale-sized airships within 10 years, according to the BBC. But both of these options come with considerably larger price tags, and don't boast the same commitment to eco-friendly travel as the Atlas-11.
"One of the companies' major goals is to introduce a tourists' airship, which will offer aerial sightseeing tours in the most beautiful places on Earth," Atlas LTA CEO and founder Gennadiy Verba said in a statement.
"Our sightseeing airships will make the sky tours more affordable and comfortable ever. Besides the obvious business aspects this gorgeous aircraft will promote the important idea of the green flight."