The Light Airship concept is an innovative relaunch of the Dirigible/Airship technology retrofitted with cutting edge modern technology to make it very reliable and the most eco-friendly mode of transport. The main objective of the Airship is Urban-mobility in the world where the cities are facing increasing traffic congestions day by day. As reports predict, the world population will increase to 8.5 billion. This abruptly puts immense pressure on the transport industry with ever increasing need of eco-friendly mode of transport. Well, isn’t an Airship as eco-friendly as it can get?
The Light Airship is designed to serve the purpose of urban mobility with sustainability in focus. The airship derives its fundamentals from the ‘Zeppelin’. With addition to the fundamentals, the design includes modern architecture, composite materials, cutting edge technology like- navigation systems, control systems, etc., and is fully electric making it as eco-friendly as possible.
The design is focused on making the Airship as efficient as possible. Since it is fully electric, the need of electric power is immense. To meet the demands of power, the upper-surface of the airship is fitted with light weight solar cells and multiple Ram Air Turbine systems. The propulsion system uses an innovative split-contra rotating ducted propeller which generates more thrust than the conventional propellers. Its VTOL capabilities allows it to dock anywhere and makes transit faster and direct.
Since the Airship is sustainable, it uses minimum natural resources, is in-expensive to operate, improves quality of life as compared to current civilian transport aircrafts. The Airship is easy to manufacture too as it only requires the constructions of its frame and the rest of the components are just to be attached on, which enables quick manufacturing. The costs are also capped as the production and maintenance costs are very low compared to the modern civilian aircraft operated by many airliners.
Now, lets dig into the specifics of the design. The Airship is designed for a passenger capacity of 10-20. This is to limit the size of the airship which helps to improve the stability and reduce the chances of failures drastically and allows for a comfortable and stress-free transport. The airship is fully autonomous and can be remotely maneuvered by an on-ground pilot and can fly at various altitudes making it safer and efficient. The twin split-contra rotating ducted propellers have a great thrust to weight ratio making it more efficient. The structure and cabin are made from composite materials making it lighter and stronger. The skin of the airship uses tear-proof material with high tensile strength to withstand the helium pressure inside. The helium used to inflate is critically warmed and maintained to achieve efficient buoyancy to volume ratio. The airship is fitted with lithium-ion batteries which are used for storage of electric power while the airship runs on power generated from solar cells and RAT system instantaneously. As a safety measure in an emergency for the passengers, the cabin can safely detach from the inflated carrier and land safely using parachutes.