Production chains ---- the toaster project --- I'm Thomas Thwaites and I'm trying to build a toaster, from scratch - beginning by mining the raw materials and ending with a product that Argos sells for only £3.99. A toaster.


Flying tuktuk

resurrecting zeppelins for low-carbon travel

airships don’t need to burn much fuel to take off and propel themselves. Because they move more slowly than planes, they’re being eyed as a much more carbon-efficient way to move air cargo, which is set to triple in the coming decades, according to the International Air Cargo Association. “An airship produces 80% to 90% fewer emissions than conventional aircraft,” said Jean Baptiste Meusnier, spokesperson for the International Air Transport Association. One airship could move 21,000 tons of stuff using almost no energy at all if we used airships to harness the free winds of the jet stream, the narrow band of fast-moving air above the troposphere, where planes fly. These winds, which average 100 miles per hour and can be as speedy as 250 mph, could propel an airship from Denver to China in about seven days or from Los Angeles to Tokyo in four, says Julian David Hunt, of Austria’s International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis and the paper’s first author.

The airships Hunt proposes would fly in the stratosphere, where there are additional advantages besides free wind. “You can plan a long time in advance because the weather forecasting is much better — there are fewer disturbances, and it’s easier to predict wind patterns in the stratosphere,” he says. He envisions a round-the-world drop-off and pickup route for airships to deliver cargo for little to no energetic cost, and he’s not alone.

“You don’t really need to fly above the weather.”

Aerospace company Lockheed Martin’s hybrid prototype s Already, there are a number of opportunities for airships to transform transportation. Cargo, for one thing, doesn’t need to move as fast as planes fly.

Their ability to land anywhere makes up for their lack of speed.

Using the jet stream for sustainable airship and balloon transportation of cargo and hydrogen

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