Development of the world’s first vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capable heavy-lift cargo airship has reached the next stage.
The Aeroscraft Corporation (Aeros) progamme has completed the engineering scale down prototype “Dragon Dream” phase, and is ready to enter the design freeze phase for the ML866 (66-ton) Aeroscraft cargo airship.
Aeros is currently developing main component and test articles for the patented buoyancy management system known as COSH, or control-of-static-heaviness, as well as structural components for the operational Aeroscraft.
The heavy-lift, variable-buoyancy cargo airship features an onboard buoyancy management system, rigid structure, vertical take-off and landing performance, and operational abilities at low speed, in hover, and from unprepared surfaces.
Aeros’ COSH technology allows airships to address global logistics applications for the first time, the company says. This new capability will reduce the time and cost involved in delivering large container cargo around the world, especially to areas lacking in infrastructure.
The company says tthe aircraft “is unique in terms of its capability, size, cargo handling and propulsion, featuring infrastructure independence with VTOL capability at max payload”.
Aeros is planning to complete the configuration design freeze for the Aeroscraft by the end of 2015, as part of fleet development efforts now underway to satisfy global demand for the vehicle’s new logistics capabilities, it explains.
Aeros chief executive officer, Igor Pasternak, says: “We are excited to reveal production is underway on the 555-ft long ML866, and committed to achieving FAA operational certification for the first deployable Aeroscraft in approximately five years.”