Documenting the Coming Singularity

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Holy flying hotel, Batman!

I Look Forward To - 10.4.10 by Christian H.

An Australian aeronautics company is developing a 150 meter wide discus-shaped helium balloon with a payload capacity of 150 tons. Among other things, the Skylifter will have the ability to move multistory buildings to remote locations and serve as a new generation of airborne luxury cruise ships.

You’ve seen hot air balloons, maybe been in one. Now imagine one that has a hotel strapped to it. This is exactly what Australian company Skylifter is developing. Using a round, flat, helium filled balloon, it will cruise at a speed of 83 kph, at distances up to 2000 km. This innovative technology opens up a confounding array of possibilities, and the Australians are already planning for a whole host of applications:

The Skylifter can move objects of any shape – a house, a boat, a hospital, a statue - to anywhere – rainforests, deserts, islands, mountains – without ever having to land. If you want a house in the middle of the Amazon, you can have it shipped there in its entirety. If a village in an inaccessible part of the Himalayas needs a hospital, the lack of overland connections to it is no longer an obstacle. You can bring a concert stage to the top of Ayer’s Rock, if you please. G20 summits causing too much commotion in the city? Why not set up a secure village in the Gobi desert where you know demonstrators won’t reach you. I could go on, but I think you get the gist of it.

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