Lighter-than-Air technology will be the most economical form of transportation, far outperforming all others in fuel, time and infrastructure costs.
Transportation Fuel Efficiency Stats
With respect to today’s transportation modes, there are at least 6 common data points that can be used for comparison:
- Ownership Cost
- Maintenance Cost
- Operating Cost
- Infrastructure Cost
- Fuel Efficiency
- Time Efficiency
The above chart compares the fuel efficiency for 3 of the most common modes of transportation against that of Lighter-than-Air technology (LTA).
The metric used to measure fuel efficiency within the cargo industry is the “ton-mile per gallon” (TM/G). It indicates the cargo in tons that can be transported 1 mile on 1 gallon of fuel. Obviously, the higher the number, the greater the fuel efficiency.
Transport by fixed-wing (airplane) will always be the least fuel efficient. As an example, a 757-200 can only carry about 35 tons, but consumes 1,500 gallons of fuel per hour.
72 ton-miles per gallon is the documented national average for the trucking industry.
Rail is often considered the most fuel-efficient ground transportation for cargo. But its accessibility is limited and therefore must rely on the lesser efficient trucking industry to complete both the first and last mile of the delivery process.
In the bar chart above, there are 3 columns that represent rail’s fuel efficiency:
- Rail-1 represents the TM/G rating for the EMD SD90MAC-H on a straight road, ideal weather conditions and a 1% grade. We chose a 1% grade as this more closely represents real world conditions.
- Rail-2 represents the same equipment and conditions as Rail-1, but the grade is increased to 2%.
- Rail-3 is the same fuel efficiency as trucking because rail is dependent on trucking for both the first and last mile of the delivery process.
In the bar chart, there are also 3 columns that represent LTA:
- LTA-1 represents the Hindenburg’s fuel efficiency which was the product of normally aspirated diesel engine technology from the 1930’s and 2-bladed fixed pitch wooden propellers.
- LTA-2 represents the estimated 40% boost in fuel efficiency that would be realized using modern diesel engine technology with supercharging and more efficient multi-bladed variable pitch propellers.
- LTA-3 represents an additional 40% increase in fuel efficiency when LTA’s direct path access is factored into the calculations. Direct path access – meaning a straight line from origination to destination. No other form of transportation has this capability. This is a conservative estimate given that direct path access is a 3-dimensional advantage as opposed to ground transportation’s 2-dimensional infrastructure.
The estimated 294 ton-mile per gallon rating for LTA is only the beginning. Higher efficiencies will be attainable once the full value of LTA’s direct path access coupled with its weightless cargo advantage are realized. For more details on this subject, see our video presentations on our “Pitch Deck” page titled:
Additionally, LTA can take advantage of the Earth’s natural wind currents in much the same way as early shipping. These efficiency gains will be realized once the logistics industry factors them into their offerings to their customers.
Also, because time is money, LTA will further enhance the bottom line beyond just fuel efficiency by decreasing delivery time with its direct path access and a myriad of other methods we will not disclose here.
And finally, LTA isn’t shackled to costly ground infrastructure which is characteristic of all other forms of transportation. That means the $20 billion spent annually by the railroad industry on their infrastructure or the $187 billion spent by the US in 2019 on roads and highways will instead be money available for investment back into the business and shared profits for the investor.
LTA can deliver anything from anywhere to any destination nonstop, faster and more efficiently and will revolutionize the way we do cargo.
LTA's Historical Stats
- German airship program duration: 1889 – 1940
- The Germans were the first to master controlled flight
- All German Zeppelins were equipped with hydrogen as the lift gas
- More than 120 German Zeppelins were built
- 80 German Zeppelins were used in WWI to fight England and their allies
- First humans to travel by air were aboard an airship
- First humans to traverse continents and oceans were aboard a Zeppelin
- First humans to travel around the world were aboard a Zeppelin
- First aerial bombing of a population was carried out by a Zeppelin
- Until the demise of the Hindenburg in 1937, the Germans had enjoyed a perfect passenger safety record for 40 years
- To date, the Germans have the only successful airship program
- It took fixed-wing aircraft (airplane) 20 additional years to equal the Zeppelin’s accomplishments
Graf Zeppelin LZ-127 Stats
- Considered the most successful Zeppelin due to its 9 years of service
- Service period: 1928 – 1937
- 34,000 passengers safely transported
- 590 successful flights
- 17,000 flight hours
- August 26, 1929 – successfully completed its Around-the-World Expedition by air
- Expedition total duration: 21 days
- Expedition flight hours: 288 (12 days)
- Expedition distance traveled: 21,250 miles
- Expedition passengers and crew: 60 men and 1 woman
- Expedition average speed: 71mph
Hindenburg LZ-129 Stats
- The largest aircraft ever built
- Considered one of the most technologically advanced airships
- Service period: 1936 – 1937
- Passenger accommodations: 50 – 75
- 3,100 passengers safely transported
- 63 successful flights
- 3,100 flight hours
- Average cruise speed: 75mph
- Top speed: 85mph
- Fuel consumption: 163 gallons of diesel fuel per hour in total
- Gross lift: 511,000 lbs
- Net lift: 240,000 lbs
- Destroyed by fire May 6, 1937