Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
PURPOSE AND FUNCTION Operate carbon-low hybrid airships, providing alternatives in travels with substantially lower footprint. Airship travel to North Pole is the pioneering step toward sustainable turism and mobility .
Future tourism needs to turn carbon neutral quite fast, The airline industry has seen a shift in how we as tourists want to travel. Already this summer (2019) there was a drop in flight ticket sold. As consumers we want a more sustainable way of travelling. The return of airships are providing a solution to do exclusive travelling with a carbon low footprint. First step is travels to the North Pole. Airship technology has reached prototype level and received first certificates. North Pole is the first journey because the North Pole will already be ice-free by the summer of 2036 (!) Airship travelling provides a possibility of highlighting the focus of urgency of the transition we are in the middle of, and at the same time offering a unique travel experience with low footprint -showing the way of future tourism. The design approach is this is design experience of the travel journey itself, having a focus on the end user while considering how to operation of the airships will take place behind the scenes with the multiple actors who are involved in rolling out this old travelway with today's new technology and society's demand for being green and safe. Furthermore, it has the potential to disrupt the whole transport and logistics industry and foster inclusivity. The potential impact is tremendous. This transport form will disrupt the whole transport and logistics industry.
"Is it not from the 1930's? And unsafe?" Many developments have happened over the last 90 years. New material innovations and new methods of lifting in other ways than using flameable hydrogen. Today helium is only allowed. Together with a demand of getting new greener transport forms, that's why 5-10 airship developers and manufactures are at levels from prototypes to operation. Airships can provide access to remote place without the need of infrastructure. The Oceansky Project collabrate with British airship producer (Hybrid Air Vehicles). That was the foundation to release tickets in April this year (2019). First bookings are already made!
Swedish Company OceanSky is launching tickets for a unique journey. OceanSky will offer the highest level of comfort for these flights and has selected the Airlander 10 as its preferred aircraft. Expeditions will start in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, flying passengers to the North Pole and landing. Initial flights start from 2023. Modern large-scale lighter-than-air vehicles have good payload capacity and can stay airborne for days. The Airlander is ultra-efficient and has no need for airports for take-off and landing. Lighter-than-air-technology has evolved a lot recent years and there are suitable applications for both cargo and passenger flight. OceanSky was founded in 2014 after many years of research and investigation into the lighter-than-air sector and are building business development for more sustainable alternatives in aviation.
"The expedition to the North Pole is for the traveler who wants to experience the Arctic in a unique way, and at the same time contribute to the development of sustainable travel," says Carl-Oscar Lawaczeck, CEO and founder of OceanSky.
The Airlander 10 is a hybrid aircraft, combining buoyant lift from helium with aerodynamic lift created by the shape of its hull. The nearly 100-meter-long vehicle is driven forward by four propellers and can fly continuously for days. The Airlander 10 is developed by the British company Hybrid Air Vehicles.
The cabin is furnished as a flying five-star hotel, with large panoramic windows and spacious cabins. The cabin is not pressurized which gives a quiet environment on board with pleasant air and low and slow flights. On the flight to the North Pole, the 16 passengers will be served an arctic inspired menu prepared on board by an award-winning chef.
After landing, the passengers will experience a day excursion on the arctic plains. Some of the expeditions the first season will be guided by acclaimed Arctic expert and climate activist Robert Swan.
This is an historic endeavor. Never in history has an airship landed on the North Pole. - Roald Amundsen flew from Svalbard and over the North Pole in 1926 with the airship ”Norge”. Now we are doing the same expedition, but we will also land on the North Pole. The passengers will enjoy the arctic nature in serenity and comfort in a hyper-efficient modern flying vehicle. They will be pioneering a new way to travel, flying for sustainable skies, says Carl-Oscar Lawaczeck.
A limited amount of tickets was released on www.oceanskycruises.com on Earth Day, 22nd of April 2019. Price for a private two-bed cabin is 600000 SEK
The journey itself is designed by Danish design agency KIRT x THOMSEN in close collaboration with OceanSky team and Italian design studio MBVision.
The project could be considered 'speculative design' as the tickets were released in 2019 but the first (North Pole) commercial flight will be in 2023.