Reconsidering the Utility of the Modern Blimp

This is NOT one of Pasternak’s Blimps

Success looks a bit like this:

Igor PasternakThe gig: Igor Pasternak, 45, is the founder and chief executive of Worldwide Aeros Corp., a Montebello-based developer and maker of blimps used for surveillance, advertising and transport.

The future: Pasternak is developing the Aeroscraft, an airship as long as two football fields, to be used for transcontinental and transoceanic transport for cargo and passengers.

It may conjure up images of the Hindenburg, but Pasternak assures that, in distinct contrast to earlier-generation airships, the Aeroscraft is a new type of aircraft that combines airplane and airship technologies.

The craft would be like a flying cruise ship capable of traveling several thousand miles. It could hit a top speed of 174 mph, meaning it could go from Los Angeles to New York in about 18 hours. And by flying at an altitude of 8,000 feet and lower — compared with airlines’ 30,000 — passengers would have a clear view of the landscape below.

“You have to stay innovative in this business,” Pasternak said. “You always have to stay on the cutting edge if you want to be successful.”

We need to get these things into use. James Fallows has pointed out the obvious—we must move more people to some form of air travel. I can’t think of a better and more environmentally-friendly mode of transport, other than the bicycle and a person’s own fat ass walking somewhere, can you?