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The flying hotel Thunderbird 2: The 700ft super-airship that will gently float you around the world
The Daily Mail (U.K.) ^ | February 2, 2008

Posted on 02/01/2008 5:11:43 PM PST by Stoat

The flying hotel Thunderbird 2: The 700ft super-airship that will gently float you around the world

Last updated at 23:32pm on 1st February 2008

  With its fins and whale-like shape, it resembles Thunderbird 2.

But, unlike the huge International Rescue rocket in the puppet series, this gigantic airship won't be roaring off in a blast of flame and smoke to any international emergencies.

Instead, its designers say it will gently lift 40 passengers into the sky for a serene cruise of the world.

Scroll down for more...

 

Uplifting: Manned Cloud's deisgners say it will offer eco-friendly holidays

 

 

The airship is a floating hotel called the Manned Cloud, and - according to its designers - it will be capable of circling the globe in a few days.

The 20 bedrooms will provide the ultimate room with a view as the airship cruises at a height of 18,000ft.

It has a restaurant, a library, a lounge and a gym on the first deck.

On the second level there will be 20 passenger rooms, terraces with panoramic windows, a spa and a bar room. The airship is powered by a giant rear propeller and also has two further engines pointing downwards for vertical take-off.

However, if you're thinking of checking in, you will have to wait until its expected launch date of 2020.

Scroll down for more...

The ship could circle the globe in about ten days

 

Massaud, the French company behind the venture, is billing it as an ecologically friendly way to travel, leaving little impact on the environment - and eliminating the need for hotels.

Designer Jean-Marie Massaud's team has been working in conjunction with the French National Office of Airship Research on the project since 2005.

A spokesman for Massaud, AurÈlie Ullrich, said: !The idea at the heart of this project is that passengers can see fantastic places like Thailand and theCaribbean without the need to build ugly hotels everywhere.

"It could land for a few days or for a week if there is a big event going on.

"We don't want to be carrying around gallons and gallons of heavy petrol or diesel and we are looking into fuelling it with some form of helium gas."

Mr Massaud said: "The Manned Cloud permits you to explore the world without leaving a trace. Passengers can experience spectacular and exotic places without being intrusive or exploitative."

The cost of a night on the airship is yet to be decided, but it is likely to be out of the reach of most pockets.

However, it could provide the perfect hideaway for camera-shy celebrities.

Glimpse of the Blimp

• The Manned Cloud is almost 700ft long, 270ft wide and 170ft deep.

• It has a staff of 15 to look after the 40 passengers.

• Its makers say it will produce a top speed of 105mph and a cruising speed of 80mph. This means it could circle the globe in about ten days.

• It will be able to travel for 3,100 miles --or across the U.S. - before needing to be refuelled by a form of helium gas.

• Airships were the first aircraft to make controlled, powered flights, with French engineer Henri Giffard travelling 18 miles from Paris to Trappes in 1852.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: airship; dirigible; mannedcloud; thunderbirds; travel
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A stewardess for the Manned Cloud?  :-)

img441/8576/misspenelopebo1.jpg



More for Thunderbirds fans  :-)

BBC - Cult - Gerry Anderson - Thunderbirds

1 posted on 02/01/2008 5:11:46 PM PST by Stoat
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To: Stoat
we are looking into fuelling it with some form of helium gas."

These guys know so little about the subject that they can't tell the difference between the lifting gas and the fuel.

I smell a scam.

2 posted on 02/01/2008 5:17:03 PM PST by PAR35
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To: Stoat

Just out of curiosity, how can helium be used as a fuel?


3 posted on 02/01/2008 5:17:18 PM PST by wolfpat (If you don't like the Patriot Act, you're really gonna hate Sharia Law.)
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To: Stoat
"• It will be able to travel for 3,100 miles --or across the U.S. - before needing to be refuelled by a form of helium gas."

Okay, now Chemistry class was a long time ago, but don't they mean burning hydrogen? How are they going to burn helium - The Mr Fusion 2000?

4 posted on 02/01/2008 5:18:25 PM PST by Abathar (Proudly posting without reading the article carefully since 2004)
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To: Stoat

Cool!


5 posted on 02/01/2008 5:18:34 PM PST by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: Stoat

6 posted on 02/01/2008 5:19:06 PM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: wolfpat

I’m guessing that it’s merely a typo for “filling”....it probably wasn’t meant to be “fueling”.


7 posted on 02/01/2008 5:19:14 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2012: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat
Coincidence?


8 posted on 02/01/2008 5:20:03 PM PST by Malone LaVeigh
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To: Stoat
"We don't want to be carrying around gallons and gallons of heavy petrol or diesel and we are looking into fuelling it with some form of helium gas."

Sure! Everybody knows "some forms" of helium burn like hell!
9 posted on 02/01/2008 5:22:18 PM PST by aruanan
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To: aruanan; All

Bear in mind that the quotations are coming from a French spokeswoman who is speaking to a British tabloid.....this is not exactly the vehicle for incredible verbal and technical precision :-)


10 posted on 02/01/2008 5:24:47 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2012: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat

Thunderbird 2 was always my fav.


11 posted on 02/01/2008 5:34:59 PM PST by RedCell (Honor thy Father (9/6/07) - Semper Fi)
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA
Cool!

Indeed...I'm delighted that their reading of the world economy is such that they feel confident in a project like this being a lucrative one.

Unfortunately, it's also a terribly tempting terrorist target.....they love to blow up stuff that muslim countries could never come up with or even dream of on their own (which is most things, come to think of it).  Hopefully there will be appropriate safeguards.

12 posted on 02/01/2008 5:38:09 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2012: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: wolfpat
Maybe they got their H gases mixed up. hydrogen? It Burns good.
13 posted on 02/01/2008 5:38:37 PM PST by southernerwithanattitude ({new and improved redneck})
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To: RedCell
Thunderbird 2 was always my fav.

Me too!  I always loved the concepts of the different pods that they could select based upon their mission, as well as the way it was launched..

14 posted on 02/01/2008 5:40:43 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2012: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat

Surprisingly, airships are now more popular today than even back in their heyday. They are an excellent way to carry heavy cargo long distances both over land and sea. But, with modern technology, they are becoming far more practical.

1) Fire fighting. Unlike planes and helicopters, airships can carry much more water to a wildfire. Plus, they can not only drop it all at once, but they can “rain” for an extended time on a fire and the surrounding area, which strongly inhibits such fires. It can also land directly on a body of water to quickly recharge its tanks.

2) Communications. High altitude airships can act much like communications satellites, and transfer wide bandwidths of information. Even a single airship high over Kansas could handle much of the satellite traffic of the United States.

3) Combat surveillance. Airships could make high detail video record all outdoor movement in a combat area. Thus, any enemy attack could be traced back to its source, and where it retired to after the attack. Not just people, but vehicles could be monitored. It would be far higher than all but advance surface to air weapons.

4) Anti ballistic and cruise missile defenses. At high altitude, able to see both high flying and below the radar attacks from far away.


15 posted on 02/01/2008 5:42:50 PM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: RedCell

 


16 posted on 02/01/2008 5:44:02 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2012: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat; dighton; aculeus; martin_fierro; Lijahsbubbe
The idea at the heart of this project is that passengers can see fantastic places like Thailand and theCaribbean without the need to build ugly hotels everywhere.

Gotta keep 'em in the air lest they build ugly hotels everywhere. Makes sense.

17 posted on 02/01/2008 5:46:06 PM PST by Ezekiel
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To: Stoat

read later


18 posted on 02/01/2008 5:47:51 PM PST by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: Stoat
With its fins and whale-like shape, it resembles Thunderbird 2.

What's the word!

19 posted on 02/01/2008 5:48:01 PM PST by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: Malone LaVeigh

20 posted on 02/01/2008 5:49:39 PM PST by badpacifist (They say your head can be a prison Then, these are just conjugal visits.)
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To: Grizzled Bear
What's the word!

Thunderbirds are Go!

Amazon.com Thunderbirds Are Go (International Rescue Edition)


21 posted on 02/01/2008 5:53:24 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2012: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat
You’re right — it would make a tempting target for terrorists.

As for safeguards, the standard practice for rigid airships is to have not one, but several (many) gas bags to hold the lifting gas. They’d be using something nonflammable — most likely helium. In the event of a small explosion on board, (something that could take down a jet airliner) there would still be the possibility of landing without a crash.

22 posted on 02/01/2008 5:54:44 PM PST by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

All excellent points, thank you for posting.

It’s very exciting stuff with myriad possibilities...I can’t wait to see the next-generation airships!


23 posted on 02/01/2008 5:55:23 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2012: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat
Mr Massaud said: "The Manned Cloud permits you to explore the world without leaving a trace. Passengers can experience spectacular and exotic places without being intrusive or exploitative."

The cost of a night on the airship is yet to be decided, but it is likely to be out of the reach of most pockets.

However, it could provide the perfect hideaway for camera-shy celebrities.

One thing the concept and the article underscore is how enviromentalism is generally driven by ultra-rich folks.

Most folks don't consider hotels "ugly". Most folks don't ascribe any significance to leaving a "trace" of their passage.

Only the ultra-rich can afford to have such pretensions.

24 posted on 02/01/2008 5:58:28 PM PST by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance on Parade)
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To: PAR35

Warp 9 Scotty!
Aye but Captain, we’ve burned up all our helium gas!


25 posted on 02/01/2008 6:01:39 PM PST by FastCoyote (I am intolerant of the intolerable.)
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To: okie01
Only the ultra-rich can afford to have such pretensions.

Very true.

Oftentimes cutting-edge technologies that are implemented for niche markets have a trickle-down effect, and after the inevitable bugs get worked out of the Manned Cloud, perhaps other airships that are more competitively-priced will become available both for popular recreational travel as well as for business and industrial purposes.

26 posted on 02/01/2008 6:02:14 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2012: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

I hope that you’re right....having a disaster with loss of life with something like this will certainly cool investment interest in future projects.


27 posted on 02/01/2008 6:03:52 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2012: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Well do you thin they will ever make a UAV carrier out of one of these? An aerial carrier for UAVs would be pretty nifty. Although I am not sure how impractical it would be.


28 posted on 02/01/2008 6:12:40 PM PST by Xenophon450 (I guess I'll never know, some things under the sun can never be understood...)
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To: Xenophon450

think* unngh


29 posted on 02/01/2008 6:13:02 PM PST by Xenophon450 (I guess I'll never know, some things under the sun can never be understood...)
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To: wolfpat
Just out of curiosity, how can helium be used as a fuel?

Feed it into your on-board particle accelerator, de-fuse it back into hydrogen, and burn the hydrogen.

Don't ask me where to get the power for the accelerator, or how the balloon will lift the accelerator. ;-P

30 posted on 02/01/2008 6:13:30 PM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: DuncanWaring

Actually your answer gave me an idea.

If you get a lot of one of the radioactive isotopes that is a strong alpha emitter, you could use the heat generated by its decay. Since alpha particles are high energy helium nuclei, you could say it’s powered by helium....sort of.


31 posted on 02/01/2008 6:19:11 PM PST by wolfpat (If you don't like the Patriot Act, you're really gonna hate Sharia Law.)
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To: Stoat

The most famous Airship disaster, the Hindenberg, was caused by using hydrogen as the lifting gas. But a number of American helium filled airships were wrecked, mostly because of winds and storms. Has that problem been fixed?


32 posted on 02/01/2008 6:20:46 PM PST by Lucius Cornelius Sulla (Mike Huckabee: If Gomer Pyle and Hugo Chavez had a love child this is who it would be.)
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To: Lucius Cornelius Sulla
The most famous Airship disaster, the Hindenberg, was caused by using hydrogen as the lifting gas. But a number of American helium filled airships were wrecked, mostly because of winds and storms. Has that problem been fixed?

Perhaps the designers feel that with the new technologies now available, the prediction, mapping and avoidance of high winds and storms is a more realistic possibility.  I agree though, I wouldn't want to be in that thing in any sort of a high wind situation.

33 posted on 02/01/2008 6:25:51 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2012: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat

Make a nice ASW platform.


34 posted on 02/01/2008 6:29:28 PM PST by central_va (Co. C, 15th Va., Patrick Henry Rifles-The boys of Hanover Co.)
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To: Lucius Cornelius Sulla
But a number of American helium filled airships were wrecked, mostly because of winds and storms. Has that problem been fixed?

Not really, kind of hard to fix Nature.


35 posted on 02/01/2008 6:32:03 PM PST by Dumpster Baby (Eschew obfuscation)
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To: Stoat

It would look really nice with a big Ron Paul sign on it!


36 posted on 02/01/2008 6:37:32 PM PST by FreeInWV
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To: central_va
Make a nice ASW platform.

No more flying in circles over the target, and a spectacular payload ability coupled with minimal runway needs  :-)

img403/3950/ac130dj6.jpg

img403/2760/ac130emj9.jpg

37 posted on 02/01/2008 6:37:37 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2012: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Ezekiel

About time. I was wondering when somebody was going to address the ugly hotel issue.


38 posted on 02/01/2008 6:38:43 PM PST by Lijahsbubbe
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To: Stoat
A stewardess for the Manned Cloud? :-)

She looks a little wooden to me.

39 posted on 02/01/2008 6:45:28 PM PST by Godzilla (Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice.)
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To: Stoat

Might we see the term “jet set” superseded by “dirigible set”?


40 posted on 02/01/2008 6:57:30 PM PST by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance on Parade)
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To: Godzilla
A stewardess for the Manned Cloud? :-)

She looks a little wooden to me.

Admittedly she has her physiological flaws, but in my view she makes up for them with spectacular hats, a dual-rearaxel Rolls with a machinegun behind the radiator and an ex-con chauffeur   :-)

 

Credits: Lady Penelope

41 posted on 02/01/2008 7:01:59 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2012: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat

WHOOPS! Actually, that’s a dual FRONT-axle Rolls...even better :-)


42 posted on 02/01/2008 7:02:46 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2012: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: okie01
Might we see the term “jet set” superseded by “dirigible set”?

Sounds good to me, as long as they buy tickets and prove it to be a viable venture, which will spur more R&D and investment  :-)

43 posted on 02/01/2008 7:04:39 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2012: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat
If this is legit, I love it. I’ve always been a fan of LTA vehicles and would love to see zeppelins and dirigibles plying the skies once again.

There’s just something majestic about a craft that is larger than most aircraft hangars moving almost silently overhead.

44 posted on 02/01/2008 7:07:10 PM PST by Dr.Zoidberg (Mohammedanism - Bringing you only the best of the 6th century for fourteen hundred years.)
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To: Stoat

What about the removal of waste from the ship during flight?


45 posted on 02/01/2008 7:07:59 PM PST by pointsal (q)
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To: Ezekiel; Stoat; dighton; aculeus; Lijahsbubbe

46 posted on 02/01/2008 7:09:06 PM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: central_va
Make a nice ASW platform.

They had a lot of Blimps in WWII which were used for exactly this. They were demobbed after the war, naturally.

47 posted on 02/01/2008 7:11:51 PM PST by Lucius Cornelius Sulla (Mike Huckabee: If Gomer Pyle and Hugo Chavez had a love child this is who it would be.)
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To: Dr.Zoidberg
There’s just something majestic about a craft that is larger than most aircraft hangars moving almost silently overhead.

Agreed on all counts...I would be delighted if this airship and more like her were to become a reality.

Re your mention of hangars, if you ever get to Tillamook, Oregon, they have the Tillamook Air Museum there which is housed in the largest wooden structure in the world...a WW2 dirigible hangar!

Tillamook Air Museum

48 posted on 02/01/2008 7:13:53 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2012: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat
we are looking into fuelling it with some form of helium gas.

Helium? In case this Einstein hasn't checked, helium is NOT a fuel. It is inert and absolutely refuses to react with anything.

49 posted on 02/01/2008 7:14:54 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (G-d is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
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To: pointsal
What about the removal of waste from the ship during flight?

They have quite an impressive payload capacity, so they may possibly be able to accommodate even the waste-disposal needs of Michael Moore in holding tanks  :-)

 

50 posted on 02/01/2008 7:16:48 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2012: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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