John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Probably not, although that hasn't stopped one Indian artist from designing a fantastic one.
Man, the future cannot get here quick enough if it means everyone will be gusting around on these gas-bladdered airships.
The "3rd Dimension" aircraft is the brain squirt of Riten Gojiya, a digital artist in Pune, India, who specializes in conceptual vehicles. Give him credit for conceiving a motorized airship that isn't covered in brass knobs, tanned leather and other fixtures of the steampunk world. His 12-foot-tall sky crawler is made of all the latest blimp technologies – lightweight aluminum skeleton, parasailing-quality fabric, NanoTritium battery, helium and hydrogen gases. OK, that last one is a bit of a throwback. Just don't be smoking around this baby, yeah?
Gojiya designed the "3rd Dimension" specifically for the future residents of Prague, for whom he wanted to gift another mode of transportation beside treading the streets and boating the canals. The vehicle is both "green" and "fun to ride," he says, particularly for "creative people" like photographers, painters and designers.
One might worry that people strapped to these big balloons would be at the mercy of the winds – for instance, slammed repeatedly against the side of a building by a vengeful microburst – or turned into pavement pancakes when their gas sacs sprung a leak, but Gojiya has corrected for these dangers with a steering system involving a motorized propellers and an intended cruising height of just 10 feet. (Although some of the people in his renderings certainly are hovering much higher, and are not wearing parachutes either.)
As to the zeppelin's unusual clamshell shape, Gojiya wanted it to reflect the bohemian beauty of Prague's architecture. Find more illustrations of the "3rd Dimension" here and here; below are samples from the artist's award-winning submission to the A' Design contest.