OceanSky, a startup travel company that specializes in luxury aviation, has developed an airship that aims to offer a sustainable way for adventurers to travel to the North Pole to witness some of the most remote parts of the Arctic.
The startup was founded in 2014 and received funding from Sweden’s Energy Agency and Traffic Administration to develop innovative technology for sustainable transportation.Their vessel is an airship called Airlander 10, which is 98 metres in length and can fly at a maximum altitude of 2,000 metres for up to three days.
OceanSky is working towards becoming a climate positive company through carbon offsets. (OceanSky)
Lighter-than-air technology powers the vessel and the company says that the airship’s engines will be electric and release zero emissions by 2030. The current Airlander 10 model uses four combustion engines and releases 75 per cent fewer carbon dioxide emissions compared to other conventional aircraft.
The airship will depart from Longyearbyen, Svalbard, which OceanSky says is one of the most northerly settlements on the planet. Pilots will choose a route based on optimal wind directions and notable locations, such as those with polar bears, whales, and icebergs.
The company says that their unique mode of transportation allows guests to experience Arctic wildlife without leaving a footprint on the delicate ecosystem. Robert Swan, an Arctic explorer and the first person that travelled to the North and South Pole by foot, will lead the expedition.
“The expedition will show that travel and transport by air can be sustainable. Lighter-than-air technology can supply humanity with ultra-efficient means of mobility, and operate in areas without infrastructure and civilization,” OceanSky states on their website.
The airship’s design is built for viewing unique wildlife while in flight. (Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd/Design Q/OceanSky)
Sustainable energy will power the airship and the company intends to promote the development and use of renewable energy in aviation. In addition to stepping away from traditional fossil fuel resources, the company also plans on being carbon positive.
“Through our cooperation with ChooseNow, OceanSky becomes climate positive. The money paid for carbon credits goes to UN-certified clean energy projects in developing countries. Carbon offsetting is not to be considered an all-in-one solution but an important part of OceanSky's actions to reduce carbon footprint and fight climate change,” the company says in a press release.
Thumbnail credit: Kirt Thomsen/OceanSky