New aircraft with particular capabilities donít just appear because people invent them and they also donít just become available because others desire them or there's a need for their potential! Rather, it takes serious organisation plus continuous finance and determined action against difficult circumstances at every stage to enable them to be developed as accepted vehicles able for useful things. Accepted, that is, by the aircraft authorities, users and the public at large. It's not different for LTA types!
The process starts (as for the Mk 1 SkyRover) with a concept for development usually sparked by a perceived need or request for an aerial way to do something that canít be done yet. Thatís what LTA Solutions was about!
The driving goal was to provide new types (balloons, aerostats, airships and so forth) able to fully unlock the potential of LTA aircraft without past problems to do things (like serious aerial crane work or long endurance/range aerial platform duties) that currently and probably never will be economically viable for HTA types.
But who really knows how to do it? It would be best to get independent fair-minded expert advice on this; where LTA Solutions was amongst the few that did know from experience. Because of attitudes towards the industry, an easier way to follow is needed that pays its way!
The way things look at the moment is that history will repeat itself; where airship technology was lost c1960 after a concerted development period (beginning c1900), because nobody cared enough for it and then the people who learned how to do it through the developments just died without a chance to really pass their hard earned knowledge from experience on. People like Roger Munk then gave their all in an attempt to revive the industry, but not even 0.1% of the $£Ä?billions invested in HTA aircraft development was provided for LTA types.
No doubt many people would deny these things and say itís just unhelpful negativity; but look around, count the number of airships in service, name the projects under development at the moment and say how they will be financed properly (the crux of the matter) through to public acceptance as new aircraft to fly safely under air law internationally for regular services. Also, what will they serve that is doable at the moment (rather than what people are hoping for); where the infrastructure for operation hardly exists.
They are not hurdles that canít be overcome, but it needs a change of attitude from sitting on the fence waiting for others to pay for and do whatís needed. It also needs people who understand what it takes to develop an aircraft for serious applications, but who are in tune with the LTA sector, willing to face the challenges and understand that it needs people with a lifetimeís experience - few in number now.
If you desire reliable airships, please consider what you will do to enable their development and then do it! The potential can be unlocked if there's due consideration and genuine support for a way to proceed. Enthusiasts also can help with general support.
The Mk 1 SkyRover is a small entry level Luffship that needs finance to at least produce the prototype and begin its test programme. Costs for this are not greater than needed for a new 2 seat aeroplane! If that's too much to ask for, the ALTA-S proposals (see: 'When is a business a business' on the home page) would be somewhat less expensive and be quicker/easier to do. Please give it due consideration.
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