"It is a rigid shelled, amphibious, solar powered, all weather, FAST aircraft that is lifted by helium, but it is not a blimp."
Thus explains the blog
of Spanish company Turtle Airships. The protoype does indeed look like a turtle, but allegedly the combination of a solar-powered electric drive and a high-efficiency diesel engine will make this both a very fast and very quiet means of crossing the Atlantic.
The top "shell" of the airship will be covered in lightweight CIG (Cadmium Indium Germanium) solar cells, generating enough power to move the giant ship through the air at 40 mph without any fuel whatsoever.
The craft is envisioned as a luxury ship, but the company has a long way to go in convincing investors that all that combustible helium will not blow like the Hindenberg.
Until then, Turtle Airships will be producing a remote-controlled model aircraft to demonstrate the craft's capability and to capture the imagination of a future generation of travelers.