Here’s a novel idea: someone is trying to crowd-fund (to the tune of $1 million) a “luxury airship RV” via an Indiegogo campaign.
The folks behind the project are tyring to both crowd fund and crowdsource the vehicles. Phase one would involve prototyping 100 small-scale airships for testing before developing an open-source autonomous airship piloting stack.
I’m not sure how viable the idea or the crowd-funding idea will be for this particular project (the folks at Popular Science are not optimistic), but I’m always up for a good airship story. Unless it’s one that involves the cancellation of a major Department of Defense airship project. According to InsideDefense, the Long-Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) hyrid airship proejct has had the plug pulled. The surveillance was originally being designed to stay aloft for 21 days over Afghanistan, but design problems (and the fact that the U.S. is leaving Afghanistan) killed the project after some $356 million had already been spent on it.
The luxury airship RV isn’t the only crowdfunded airship project online. Some students and faculty at Western Michigan University attempted to raise a little over $5,000 for a hybrid airship flight platform. Then there’s the Falcon Project, a Kickstarter campaign to fund an unmanned airship that would use high-definition thermal imaging to search for Sasquatch. (Pledge goal: $355,000.)