It is Time for our World to have a Good Reason to Look-Up!

It is Time for our World to have a Good Reason to Look-Up!

The World Air League® (WAL) is organizing the World Sky Race® (Race), the historic first race of airships to circle the planet, starting on the London Greenwich Prime Meridian September 2023 and finishing in Paris at the Palace of Versailles May 2024.

Family Offices are invited to become involved by adding their experience, resources, and impact investment to the race. The WAL network will connect family offices with influential and strategic partners around the world.

The World Sky Race will be the largest sporting and entertainment event seen and experienced by the largest live audience in the entire history of the human race.

The Race route will take the competing airships over more than two billion people!

Ask yourself: How many people line up along the route of the Tour de France to watch the cyclists whiz past? Twelve and one half million—just twelve and one half million.

The Race route will take the airships over more than 130 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the most iconic monuments to humanity’s cultural achievements. Imagine the photo ops and social media possibilities. 

Tentative Route with UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Tentative Route with UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Why are we doing it?  Because it will be a grand epic adventure and fun!

As adults, however, we need serious reasons. And The World Sky Race will have two, each one historic, transformational, and unprecedented. 

The World Sky Race is A Race for the Planet

The Race is currently funded with a $1,000,000 Catalyst Prize to be an incubator of sustainable advanced lighter-than-air (LTA) aviation technologies. The Race will modernize LTA flight, which until now has used technology dating from the 1920s and 1930s. Right out of the box, the Race will demonstrate a new kind of flight with greater fuel efficiency, less pollution, and less destruction to the environment than the kind we know today. 

Airships fly because, like balloons, they are naturally buoyant, getting most of their lift from safe, inert helium gas. They use motors to go forward in the air, but don’t need runways to taxi to take off—they just float up! Nor do they need airports to land. Result? Compared to planes, their energy and infrastructure costs are small.

For governments around the world, infrastructure construction and maintenance costs are among the biggest items in their budgets. Additionally, building infrastructure entails destroying the environment:  Paving roads, building bridges, dredging harbors and waterways all destroy everything that gets in their right-of-way.  Essentially, LTA reduces and, in many instances, will eliminate the need for massive new infrastructure. In this jet age, airships may seem antique. But the reverse is true. Environmentally, their time is now. LTA fuel and pollution savings are greater than 80% compared with other aircraft. Their positive, sustainable impact on this century will be profound.

Learning from the past, we can innovate. We can mitigate climate change. The Race will inspire inventors to invent, investors to invest and adventurers to compete. We won’t simply be thinking outside the box, we will escape the box. Quoting Doc Brown in Back to the Future, “Where we are going, we don’t need roads.” Also, we will not need harbors, railroads, or runways.

The World Sky Race is A Race for Humanity

The Race is being organized for inclusion in daily classroom programing around the globe for an entire school year, September to May. The 59,000,000 teachers in the world will be able to download the interactive materials, to start each day’s class with the fun question, “Where are the airships today?” Lessons will cover geography, history, culture, science, environment.  Each day, selected classrooms on the Race route will inter-actively present on the internet. On that day, these classrooms’ students will do more than lead a classroom discussion; they will be global leaders, with several million other students following while they describe who they are and where they are in the world, sharing their laughter and smiles. The World Sky Race will be a transformational experience and educational bond shared by the entire next generation of the world for the remainder of their lives.

Pause for a moment and reflect on the life-long educational dividends. This is A Race for Humanity.

The World Sky Race will be an organic, world-wide movement connecting us by creating a kaleidoscopic tapestry woven by story tellers, artists, educators, environmentalists, grandparents, engineers, children, visionaries, nerds, and global citizens.  Viewing the world we have today, we all could use a good reason to Look-Up!  Embrace the Race!

How can you get involved?

  • Support your national airship team
  • If you have the means to be a team owner, join the League
  • If you are civic-minded, join the World Sky Race Local Organizing Committee for your country
  • If you have a foundation or cause, let’s examine mission alignment
  • If your global brand needs polishing, sponsor an Airship Team
  • If your local brand needs polishing, sponsor an airfield, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • If you have a satellite with close-up surface capable cameras, be included in our broadcast team for The Race Seen From Space
  • If you have a super yacht or tender or research vessel, join our logistics navy
  • If you have a yacht or sailboat, join the Lisbon or Shannon Harbor marine festivals that will greet and celebrate the Atlantic crossing by the Airship Teams
  • If you have a hot air balloon, join the aerial festivals around the world greeting the competing Airship Teams
  • If you have a social media following, let’s activate them
  • If you are a producer, produce film, broadcast, or public service announcements and social media
  • If you are celebrity, be a talking head, humorous commentator, or action figure
  • If you are an adventurer and explorer, we have daring plans for a pre-Race Exhibition to prepare global logistics
  • If you are a writer, write
  • If you are an environmentalist, let’s get greener together
  • If you are an influencer, amplify your megaphone
  • If you are a game programmer, we have an assignment
  • If you are a cheerleader, strut your pom poms
  • If you are a teacher, our lesson plans start with, “Fun is a Renewable Energy
  • If you are a fashion designer, our line range is scarfs to bikinis to bespoke leather parkas
  • If you are an artist, express
  • If you are an event organizer, we will have 17 world class performance stages with international hosting cities as the surrounding background
  • If you are a photographer, polish your glass
  • If you are a student, get ready for your pop quiz on geography
  • If you are an investor, we should get comfortable

Airship Team FRANCE and Airship Team SOUTH AMERICA have already begun forming

Embrace the Race!

Do you want to know more? 

Don Hartsell, Commissioner and Managing Director, [email protected]