Aircraft

Zep'lin flying boat ponders the future of electric vehicles

Zep'lin flying boat ponders th...
Zep'lin concept design by Damien Grossemy
Zep'lin concept design by Damien Grossemy
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Zep'lin concept design by Damien Grossemy
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Zep'lin concept design by Damien Grossemy
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A boat that flies. Now there's a vehicle Phileas Fogg could really have used. Zep'lin is a blue-sky concept developed by industrial designer Damien Grossemy during a five month internship at Renault which imagines the use of solar panel sails and electric propulsion to liberate the yacht-like vehicle from terra firma.

Setting out to "explore new design language of electric vehicles," Grossemy has come up with a land anywhere vertical architecture that incorporates a propeller drive, flexible wing and rudder system that would enable the craft to tilt sideways to make the most of the Sun's rays.

Beautiful, elegant design? Yes. Workable? We live in hope!

Via The Design Blog.

Zep'lin by Renault

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22 comments
Facebook User
In ideal conditions this could work, but reality is far from ideal, sadly. Consider the different scenarios in which the concept vehicle might have to work when one really plans to go around the world like overcast skies and storms when flying over water, and the obvious risks of overland flying when this becomes a necessity. All the same, I am really excited about this vehicle. Keeping my fingers crossed for now, and praying for it to succeed.
YukonJack
OMG!!!!!! my mind just went,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, i must make one of these if they don\'t. I mean to say this will revolutionize the way people throughout the world live and travel as much as the personal computer has already did. Please remember us who are living on a budget we need to escape the old ways too.
Ed
And coming in for a landing at the mooring post..\"oh the humanity!\"
Facebook User
Awesome way to travel!
Nicolas
..and if you want to park it on a windy day?
Aussie Bob
What exactly keeps this most elegant craft aloft? Is it a form of hot air balloon with the solar panels heating the air and driving the prop? Or have I missed something?
Mestengo
I found the past story about the Boyfriend Pillow more compelling. This flyin boat fairy tale is the dumbest one yet. The design, if someone were dumb enough to build it, would get bitch slapped around in the wind and spiral into an cartwheel crash.
This design will only fly on your computer screen. So get your popcorn, favorite adult libation and smoking material, and sit back. Enjoy your fantasy!
windykites
A beautiful presentation. A fight of fancy, indeed! As Aussie Bob commented, is it a hot air balloon? More likely helium filled. I think the gas envelope would need to be a lot larger to lift any appreciable weight. I would remove the cowl round the propellor, and what is that strange one sided wing all about? solar cells for power are going to weigh a fair amount.
I think Damien has too much time on his hands whilst working for, and getting paid by Renault
bas
The idea of using natural buoyancy in a heavier-than-air vehicle as part of the lift needed is not new, but it seems as if history needs to repeat itself and the real world has to prove the viability of an application.
An important aspect of using gas as part of the lifting force is that the gas container (balloon, bladder, etc) has to be big to be of any serious lifting value. Drag and the power needed to overcome it then becomes a point to consider in maneuverability. The balance of lift from buoyancy and aerodynamic force will determine in a large part the useability of a vehicle, and it will need to be big if it will have any serious lifting capacity. Look at the existing or the historical lighter than air population and you will get an idea of this aspect.
Darren Johnson
It looks like the naysayers have forgotten to look at the size of the design in relation to the people depicted: That envelope is rather sizeable.
As to those who say it is a \"dumb fairytale\" or that the designer is getting paid too much: have you done better?
When you get Renault to give your ideas serious consideration, let me know.