Development of the world’s first Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) capable heavy-lift cargo airship is progressing with the project entering the design freeze phase, according to the Aeroscraft Corporation (Aeros). The ML866 (66-ton) Aeroscraft cargo airship, which features independence from external ballast, has completed the engineering scale down prototype ‘Dragon Dream’ phase with Aeros 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 with 60 tonne payload.
The cargo airship now taking shape is unique in terms of its capability, size, cargo handling and propulsion, featuring infrastructure independence with vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capability at max payload. COSH is Aeros’ proprietary and patented internal buoyancy management technology, which was successfully demonstrated in 2013 as part of DoD ‘Project Pelican’ with the technology demonstration vehicle measuring approximately 1:2 scale, known as ‘Dragon Dream.’
Aeros is planning to complete the configuration ‘design freeze’ for the 60 tonne payload capable Aeroscraft by end of 2015 as part of fleet development efforts now underway to satisfy global demand for the vehicle’s new logistics capabilities.
“We are excited to reveal production is underway on the 555-ft (169 metre) long ML866, and committed to achieving FAA operational certification for the first deployable Aeroscraft in approximately five years,” said Igor Pasternak, CEO of Aeroscraft Corporation.
The Aeroscraft is a new heavy-lift, variable-buoyancy cargo airship featuring an onboard buoyancy management system, rigid structure, vertical takeoff and landing performance, and operational abilities at low speed, in hover and from unprepared surfaces.
Aeros’ unique and patented COSH technology breakthrough permits airships to efficiently address global cargo/logistics applications for the first time. This new capability will dramatically decrease the time and cost for delivering large ‘project’ and container cargo around the world, especially to austere areas with no pre-positioned infrastructure.