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LTA Solutions

Lighter-than-air Technology

Lenticular (L) Aerostat Luffships

The lenticular or discus (a squashed instead of elongated sphere) form, often equated with futuristic 'flying saucers', is an alternative relatively low aerodynamic drag way for aerostats to be shaped that retains omni-directional O-D characteristics; desirable for numerous applications that need aircraft heading, attitude and geostationary position to be held. Dirigible LTA aircraft with a lenticular aerostat thus more easily may be configured as geostationary platforms, aerial cranes, patrollers, cruisers and transport types in an efficient/economic way to perform duties similar to helicopters, but with long endurance (perhaps months) underway and with outsized heavy payload capability that people only dream about at the moment (perhaps 1000 tonne in the future).

The lenticular form also has good capability to develop aerodynamic lift (like newly proposed hybrid airships) and its upper surface, which is large, is ideal for solar power technology. Other major advantages for airships designed with a lenticular aerostat (depending on configuration) are:

For background and further information about lenticular airships, see the downloadable paper An Exposition about previous types.

Luffships (StratRaft, AeroRaft and further derived types) with a lenticular (L form) aerostat utilise low suspended weight (like free balloons) to provide strong pendulum stability that counteracts aerodynamic instability instead of fins at a rear position. Control of both behaviour and movement through the air then is with thrust, which (with today's technology) will be automated; but where free balloon flight may be used routinely at any stage.

Click on a link above to explore different L form Luffships designed or on one of the following links to return to previous O-D Luffships or the general Luffships page.