FAQ

1) What are the advantages of an airship compared to traditional airplanes and helicopters?

The main advantage of the airship over airplanes and helicopters is that it consumes less, and therefore pollutes and costs less.

2) What are the advantages of an electric airship compared to an electric plane?

The electric plane today can already fly 24 hours a day, but it cannot carry practically any weight. And before an electric airplane to transport people and goods is built, it will still take decades if not centuries. Instead the electric cargo airship is at hand, given the large surfaces of the airship available to the solar panels and also given the relative little propulsive thrust it needs, compared to planes and helicopters.

3) Where can you park O-Boot? Does it need bigger hangars than the usual ones?

The hangars would certainly be immense and very expensive, but unlike the airplanes the airship would always stay in flight, in this way the airship would be safe from bad weather at low altitude, and would also be perpetually in service, so as to amortize the very high costs for building the airship.  Not even the loading / unloading of the goods will require the airship to land. The hangars would therefore be needed only for the time necessary for maintenance work.

4) What are the advantages of vacuum airship compared to the helium one?

The first advantage of the vacuum airship compared to the helium airship is that the vacuum costs almost nothing. The vacuum is in fact created mechanically, with vacuum pumps powered from the ground, during the loading / unloading phases of the goods, or through the solar panels on the O-Boot. On the contrary, helium has a considerable price, and here we are talking about at least 200,000 cubic meters of helium required for the O-Boot to lift about 100 tons of goods. Furthermore, the price of helium is subject to the market, being helium a natural resource, like oil. And just like oil, sooner or later even helium on earth will run out. So, besides the question of price, in favor of the vacuum there is also the safeguard of the planet. Then there is a purely practical reason: to date airships have never been used for freight transport because traditional airships are not able to change their weight, a feature that is indispensable both for vertical takeoff / landing and for loading / unloading of goods in mid-air, like a helicopter. True that now there are American and English prototypes that are able to partially change their weight, compressing or expanding the internal helium, but this ploy will never allow them to increase and decrease their weight by as much as 100 tons, like instead it will happen with the O-Boot, which will have no problem throwing out or letting in 100,000 cubic meters of air, exactly as a submarine does with sea water. Finally, like the last generation airships, even the O-Boot will be a hybrid airship, that is, in addition to the principle of Archimede, it will use the lift to keep itself in flight. As can be guessed from the drawings, the shape of the O-Boot will be very similar to that of an airplane. The goal would be to be able to fly, thanks to the wings, over 15,000 meters, where the air is extremely rarefied. Being able to fly over 15,000 meters would have three advantages: 1) at that altitude there is less air resistance, resistance that airships, due to their size, suffer a lot 2) at that altitude there are no more low altitude storms, which airships suffer a lot 3) at that altitude there is more light and there are very few clouds, ideal situation for solar panels. But at 15,000 meters a helium airship, above all a hybrid airship, with a semi-rigid structure or worse than ever with a rigid structure, like the O-Boot, with wings, a similar airship would have a very big problem, that is, that the helium dilatation, following the drop in external pressure, would generate a strong internal pressure on the walls of the airship, causing helium leaks and putting the entire structure of the airship under stress. Vice versa the vacuum airship at 15,000 meters of altitude, with a very low external air pressure, will be in its natural habitat. To conclude, while at low altitude the vacuum airship has several problems with air pressure, problems that the helium-based airship does not have, at high altitude the situation will reverse in favor of the vacuum airship.

5) Why is a Vacuum Balloon more performing at high altitude than to low altitude?

As the altitude increases, both the density of the air and the air pressure decrease. If they decreased equally, the performance of the Vacuum Balloon would be almost identical at any altitude. But this is not the case: as altitude increases, the air pressure declines more quickly than the density of the air, and this is to the advantage of the performance of the Vacuum Balloon, which therefore improves as the altitude increases.

6) Have you done structural calculations on the vacuum ballon yet? What material can be strong enough to withstand air pressure and light enough to rise in flight?

There are two models: a basic model and an evolution model. The first one, on which a degree research was done at the Polytechnic of Turin, is a sandwich with ceramic skins and foam in between. This model is lighter than air (obviously if emptied of inner air) and holds an external pressure (with zero internal pressure) up to 1.7 atm. The second model should withstand a similar external pressure but be lighter and easier to build. If you want, you leave us your email, and we send you the research thesis that was made on the first model, with all the structural calculations. Unfortunately, all information regarding the second model is confidential.

7) Have you already a flying model?

Our goal is the presentation of the first vacuum airship in history in Brescia on December 13th of this year, for the anniversary of Francesco Lana, the Brescian inventor of vacuum airship, who was baptized in Brescia on December 13th 1631.