CRAZY WEDNESDAY: HOW SWEET TO BE A CLOUD

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So said of course on of the great philosophers of our generation, Winnie the Pooh, and how right he was. This one, the Manned Cloud, is a new design of airship, by French designer Jean-Marie Massaud.

Its proposed use is as a flying hotel, with restaurant, library, spa and fitness suite. The luxury, double helium-filled envelopes will even be topped with a sun deck for the 40 passengers. The hotel will have space for 15 staff, and will cruise at a speed of 130 kilometers per hour, over a range of 5000 kilometers. Massaud believes that his airship design “permits man to explore the world without a trace: to re-experience traveling, timelessness and enhance the consciousness of the beauty of the world – and to experience spectacular and exotic places without being intrusive or exploitative.”

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Research and development of Manned Cloud is being taken forward by the French national aerospace reasearch body, ONERA, who will assess its viability. I’ve talked about airship designs on here before, and the amount of innovation currently ongoing in this field is staggering. As I said before, I really believe that these wonderful creations will see commercial use in my lifetime. Part of the design inspiration for Manned Cloud comes from the way whales swim, and this whale (or is it more like a ray?) shape is what has resulted. Other designers are also turning to the oceans for inspiration, which allows me to show you this wonderful proof-of-principle demonstration of a manta-ray shaped craft, the Festo Air-Ray:

Amanda

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