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LTA Solutions

Lighter-than-air Technology

Sequential views of the SkyPorter. View of the SkyPorter with a payload.

SkyPorter (LS-L100)

Compared with SkyLugger, SkyPorter is a similar dirigible Luffship for ad-hoc aerial crane and transport operations, but at double its linear size (Ø100 m), for up to 10 times the payload capacity (i.e. 50 tonne), so is a far more serious proposition. It's possible from a combination of scaling aspects, configuration and improved efficiency at the greater size.

Even so, it would be a development that must satisfy higher Transport Category certification standards for large airships before entering service - involving significantly more work, time and thus cost. It therefore needs the SkyLugger to be developed first in order to prepare the development plus operating teams (increasing capability) and the international infrastructure that it will need for service entry; necessary to mitigate risk, avoid wasting time and minimise cost.

The certification standards are equivalent to those for large HTA aircraft, but have yet to be agreed and passed into international law for large airships - as they only exist today in draft form (i.e. the Transport Airship Requirements - TAR). The SkyPorter's development thus not only needs an experienced and knowledgeable engineering/design team in a fully established aircraft approved organisation with operational facilities capable of undertaking the test programme (similar to that of CargoLifter - necessary to complete the development and support subsequent service), but also needs the political, business and infrastructure issues to be settled.

With (Ø100 m) it appears to be smaller than the Blue Devil 2 airship (112.8 m long and of 42,475 cu m capacity - actually built in the USA by MAV6) but, due to better volumetric efficiency, has a capacity of 186,210 cu m - so will lift significantly more.

It thus is quite a big project, but doable - proven by:

Even so, it involves parallel development of new cycloidal propellers, needing attention to support the objective. This currently is just a low level pursuit for the LS-L20. Otherwise and when agreed, costs/time to develop the design to service entry should be less than an equivalent transport aeroplane (not guaranteed) but needs backers who understand aircraft development issues. For further information, see the downloadable leaflet.

Click on a link at the top of the page to see further derived Luffships or on one of the following links to return to previous Derived, Lenticular, Omni-directional pages or the general Luffships page.