In order to pursue development a plan for a progressive series of such derived types without the AeroRaft’s Rotordyne was formulated leading to a version as an aerial crane (as shown above in scale next to the LZ129) for a potential operating business to:
- Undertake duties with up to 150 tonne payloads (needing traditional load exchange methods).
- Provide global aerial hotel cruising services.
These objectives were published by the potential operator and in various articles, calling the aerial crane version a SkyLifter. However, it’s called the LS-L150 here to avoid confusion as just one of several derived Luffship designs undertaken. New business arrangements now are desired to enable development of the progressive series and goals for their future service.
For an introduction to Luffships designed for the potential operator, see the briefing document (available from contact). Our founder owns the technical IP (Intellectual Property) for these LTA aircraft and associated design rights for their development/production.
Design of derived lenticular type Luffships intended to enable a progressive development approach (minimising risk) thus were undertaken, as follows:
Indoor Micro and Unmanned Outdoor Mini Luffships
- R/C Models and LTA Drones: LS-L2, LS-L3 and LS-L5 as an outdoor type
Tethered (T) or Captured Aerostats
- Low Captured Aerostats: Mk 1 (LS-LT18-V1 & V2) and Mk 2 (LS-LT15-V1) as projection screens and shelters
- Tethered Aerostats: LS-LT1, LS-LT15-V2, LS-LT20 and LS-LT40 as static aerial platforms
- Nursery Balloons: LS-LT30NG, as a demonstrator for natural gas storage and handling
Dirigibles that may be manned
- Balloon and Normal Category Luffships: Mk 1 (LS-L20) and Mk 2 (LS-L25) as patrollers
- Natural gas transportation Luffships: LS-L30NG, as a demonstrator
- Commuter Category Luffships: LS-L50, as an aerial crane for up to 5 tonne payloads
- Medium-sized Transport Category Luffships: LS-L100, as an aerial crane for up to 50 tonne payloads
- Large Transport Category Luffships: LS-L150, as an aerial crane for up to 150 tonne payloads – a long term goal
- Just click on the various versions for information about them. However, information about some has been withheld to focus in a doable/realistic way on the approach needed to develop aerial cranes, but available on request.
- ‘Load exchange’ is the procedure to replace payload weight with ballast or vice versa, to maintain constant airborne weight (necessary to counter buoyancy) when picking payloads up or setting them down. For documents addressing load exchange, see the paper (Load Exchange – An explanation and things to consider for LTA aircraft) and/or dissertation (Buoyancy and Load Exchange for Heavy Lift Airships) available from contact.