CargoLifter Blimp  (Source: The Guardian/
Blimps will be faster than ships, sloer than jets, and will be very green

Much of the electronic and gadget gear sold in America today is imported from other countries. Much of this importing happens by ship, but products needing to get to their destination faster are shipped by aircraft like the Boeing 747.

In the future, there may be a third method of getting products of all types across the ocean from Europe and Asia and into the U.S. with a speed between that of ships and jets. According to a UK scientist named Professor Sir David King, a former chief scientific advisor to the government, blimps will be used to ferry freight in the next decade.

The blimp will be considerably faster than sending freight by ship with a top speed for the airship expected to be about 78 mph. However, it would be much slower than current cargo jet aircraft like the 747. The huge benefits of the blimp compared to the 747 is that the blimp has about twice the cargo capacity of the 747 and produces 90% less greenhouse gasses compared to the 747.

King also figures that in about a decade, the blimp could again be ferrying passengers across the oceans. Another huge potential benefit of blimps over jet aircraft is that the blimp wouldn’t need an airport. The blimp would be able to hover over a loading area and load cargo by way of an integrated lift system.

The fact that the blimps don’t need an airport to load and unload also makes them well suited for humanitarian mission where airports aren’t available and lots of cargo capacity is needed. 
The Guardian reports that blimps were very popular in the 1920s, but quickly fell from popularity after the Hindenburg disaster. The modern blimps would use helium to float over the oceans.

Blimps are still being developed and the U.S. military has an eye on the technology for potential use. King cited development of blimp technology by Boeing and Lockheed Martin. King said, "There are an awful lot of people we talk to who say this is going to happen. This is something I believe is going to happen."

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