Monday, July 2, 2012

Airships will revolutionize logging

The Ash Creek Fire in Montana has cleared at least 200,000 acres: much of the blaze's intensity is due to dense Ponderosa pine stands. Environmental groups sued to stop logging on much of the mal-named Custer National Forest after the Forest Service sought to take too many old-growth trees that are critical habitat for raptors and key to forest sustainability.

Only a few thousand acres were scheduled for the reduction of ladder fuels which would have had little impact in controlling the wildfire in that part of Montana.

Conservationists have long argued that roads built into forest lands disrupt wildlife migration patterns and often cause frivolous wheeled human incursions onto ground recovering from mechanical log harvests.

In 2008, the Boeing Company, in cooperation with SkyHook International, teamed to build the JHL-40:
The neutrally buoyant feature allows SkyHook to safely carry payloads unmatched by any rotorcraft in existence today. The JHL-40 is environmentally acceptable because it mitigates the impact of building new roadways in remote areas, and Skyhook is expected to reduce the carbon footprint of the industrial projects it supports.
Now, Popular Science tells readers:
"Some kids wanted to be firefighters,” Igor Pasternak says. “I always thought about blimps.” Pasternak is wearing a T-shirt that says Ballast Control Matters, which pretty much sums up that problem. But if the Aeroscraft prototype works and Pasternak completes plans to build an 800-foot model, he will advance the capacity of airborne transportation to 500 tons, delivered anywhere.
Ponderosa pine clearly provides a rich source of fuel: preserve old growth, kill the youngest pine, and convert it to fuel to power airships.

1 comment:

D.E. Bishop said...

That mega blimp is really in the works? Wow!