In order to manage development with low risk/cost a progressive series starting small of derived versions without the AeroRaft’s Rotordyne were formulated leading to the aerial-crane with transport ability shown above in scale next to the LZ129 for future operators 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 SkyLifter and in various articles, also calling the aerial-crane a SkyLifter. However, it’s designated LS-L150 here to avoid confusion. Business arrangements now are needed for development of the progressive series leading to it.
For an introduction to the LTA-aircraft designed for SkyLifter, see the briefing document (available from contact). Our founder owns the technical IP (Intellectual Property) for them and the associated design rights for their development.
Design of derived lenticular type aerostats and airships under a progressive development approach thus were undertaken, as follows:
Mini airships – Unmanned Indoor and Outdoor Types
- R/C Models and LTA Drones: LS-L2, LS-L3 (indoor) and LS-L5 (outdoor)
Aerostats – Tethered (T) or Captured
- Low Captured Aerostats: LS-LT18 and LS-LT15-V1 as projection screens and shelters
- Tethered Aerostats: LS-LT1, LS-LT15-V2, LS-LT20 and LS-LT40 as elevated aerial platforms
- Nursery Balloons: LS-LT30NG, for natural gas storage and handling
Airships (Dirigibles) – Manned or Unmanned
- Balloon and Normal Category Airships: LS-L20 and LS-L25, as patrollers
- Natural gas transportation Airships: LS-L30NG, as a demonstrator
- Commuter Category Airships: LS-L50, as an aerial-crane for up to 5 tonne payloads
- Medium-sized Transport Category Airships: LS-L100, as an aerial-crane for up to 50 tonne payloads
- Large Transport Category Airships: LS-L150, as an aerial-crane for up to 150 tonne payloads – a long term goal
- The categories (Balloons, Normal, Commuter and Transport) are EASA or FAA airworthiness authority terms for different types and sizes of LTA aircraft.
- 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 the dissertation (Buoyancy and Load Exchange for Heavy Lift Airships), both available from contact.