heavy lift towed transport balloon concept heavy lift transport airship concept

LTA Solutions

Lighter-than-air Technology

Omni-directional (O-D) Luffships

O-D Luffships are new LTA dirigible aircraft (balloons and airships) designed by LTA Solution's founder with omni-directional flight ability (like helicopters) for particular duties that, in some cases, either isn't possible or economically viable for other aircraft (mainly UD types) on a commercial basis.

Ideas for them (spherical, lenticular, natural symmetrically shaped types and so forth) arose from experience trying to develop a huge classic style unidirectional (UD) airship for aerial crane and transport duties with seriously heavy outsized payloads that didn't succeed due to the enormous costs involved and multiple technology risks (far too many) plus practically nonexistent infrastructure aspects that had to be solved simultaneously. It was concluded from the experience that UD types are not generally suitable for heavy lift aerial crane duties.

The way forward became clear at a fraction of the cost from a parallel project, instead based on a towed dumb barge spherical balloon system for 50 tonne payloads (when ground towed) or 75 tonne (when air towed). This successfully was used to transport a c55 tonne military mine clearance tank; where its external mooring & handling arrangements held it securely through all weather conditions (including storms) 15 Apr to 10 July 2002. This arrangement was O-D, where it was concluded that it was a better way to follow.

It may be said that the goal for serious heavy lift operations with a dirigible LTA aircraft is worthy and remains to be fulfilled, needing a viable way to follow. LTA Solutions was started to privately pursue new Luffship arrangements that would help people understand how the goal for such aircraft may be achieved. This included a progressive method to instead grow from small undertakings before embarking mammoth projects with huge risk; but that needs patience, tolerance and further market opportunities to be engaged - since, clearly, small types are unsuitable for heavy lift purposes, but they do cost (needing a way for payback).

New O-D types for heavy lift and other special purposes (such as high altitude variants) thus were designed and then scaled down through several steps to business entry level versions. These small versions then naturally would be representative of the much larger types to use, learn and develop from; but that could change as things then progressed. They thus enable the key technology development aspects necessary and the infrastructure, which hardly exists yet, for mammoth types to be developed in a secure low risk way.

When one considers the way helicopters took their place as viable types it should be clear that O-D Luffships have roles to play for similar good reasons, such as:

Click on the above links to explore the different O-D Luffships designed or on the following link to return to the general Luffships page for further types.

Note: Information about N, S and other aerostat forms has been removed to focus on L types.