Innovative Airships Could Change the Face of Transport Aircraft (Machine Design, 6/11/2021)
- Their approach combines helium and hot air for lift, along with turboprop jet engines turning helicopter-like rotors for propulsion, thrust-vectoring, control, and some additional lift. The Russian-based team, led by CEO Sergei Bendin, plans on turning out a family of four such airships that can carry anywhere from 22 to 660 tons up to 3,700 miles.
- The airships carry no extra helium or ballast (sand or water) that can be released to increase lift. Instead, they rely on controlling the temperature and amount of hot air in the upper cells to adjust altitude and lifting capabilities, a concept called thermal ballasting. They can also enlist their engines and rotors to supply lift (or a downward thrust) for altitude adjustments.