A Spain-based company called Turtle Airships is building an airship that looks like giant turtles made out of rigid shelled hulls of aluminum and carbon fiber. Its hulls will be covered by solar cells, which will power the airship in daylight. Biodiesel will power it during night time and in cloudy weather.
Construction has started on a first prototype and the first flight and testing is scheduled to be done in Singapore this year, the company said. Turtle Airships will make a demonstration around-the-world flight of the new solar powered airship in 2009.
“Almost everyone immediately thinks of blimps or the Hindenburg,” says company president, Darrell Campbell. “The Turtle airship is far more advanced in technology and capabilities.”
The company said it is going to focus first on the travel market and second on military applications.