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Airship Pavilion at Le Bourget Paris Airshow

Le Bourget’s 49th International Airshow 2011 featured a 20x30m pavilion dedicated to airships sponsored by the Mayor of Paris, the French Government and the car company Citroen, amongst others. This is part of an impressive national French effort that includes Dirisoft Research, the University of Versailles and the Institute of R&D on photovoltaic Energy. Dirisoft Research is a network, first suggested by AERALL, and founded in 2007 at the École Normale Supérieure de Cachan in Paris to explore technologies for transporting heavy lifts.

The central feature at the exhibit was a 500m3 experimental hybrid airship accompanied by a small model – featured here with Mr. Hervé Kuhlmann, Technical Director of Dirisoft Research on Wednesday the 22nd of June 2011. Dirisoft Research is also developing, through the efforts of Geoffroy Levy, an internet portal called “Airship Dock” initiated in April 2010 for the purpose of creating a technical and historical online library mainly exploring projects and ideas from the past 40 years for the benefit to future technologies of lighter-than-air vehicles.

Also featured in the poster exhibition is the first manned solar powered airship, project Sol’R initiated in 2007 with the collaboration of up to 40 students from various universities and cities in France. Projet Sol'R aimed to promote and develop the world's first solar-powered manned airship, with an envelope volume of 350m3 of helium carrying 42m2 of CIGS solar panels on its surface. Named "Néphélios" and piloted by Mr. Bastien Lefrançois, the first manned, solar powered airship is shown (right) flying in Villaroche in June 2010 (Photo ©Projet Sol’R) . Associated with Projet Sol'R, the exhibition also featured a stand displaying different types of photovoltaic cells presented by Mr. Daniel Lincot, Director of the Institute of R&D on Photovoltaic energy.

Posted by Gabriel Alexander Khoury– 27 June 2010

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