Meet the Aeroscraft – it’s the future of aviation. And it’s also the past. To some, it looks like a giant next-gen airship. And the best bit is that it’s just been granted its airworthiness certificate by the US Federal Aviation Administration... and that’s exciting, as it allows the firm behind it – Aeros – to conduct test flights to evaluate its VTOL capability, made possible by the Aeroscraft’s trademarked COSH (Control of Static Heaviness) System. All they need to do is engineer some working cogs into it, and they’ll make most steampunks’ dreams come true!
The Aeroscraft is a rigid, variably buoyancy aircraft aiming to establish a new VTOL air cargo market for the 21st Century. The Aeroscraft combines attributes of fixed wing aircraft like airplanes, rotary aircraft like helicopters, and airships such as blimps or aerostats, with a new buoyancy management system, or COSH (control-of-static-heaviness) to enable true VTOL cargo operations.
The Aeroscraft ’Dragon Dream’ aircraft incorporates this variable buoyancy management system into a scaled down model roughly 1:2 scale of the forthcoming 66-ton cargo payload capacity transport Aeroscraft, or model ML866.
Aeros’ completion of the proof-of-design engineering air vehicle coincides with the achievement of the design, engineering and configuration of Aeros’ ML866 and ML868 models, capable of vertically airlifting 66-tons and 250-ton of cargo respectively. The Aeroscraft ML866 and ML868 will cruise at about 100 knots, while utilizing less fuel in operation because of the helium-provided lift – about 1/3 the fuel consumption compared to comparable fixed wing aircraft.
At max payload, the 66-ton ML 866 vehicle can vertically airlift and transport cargo up to 3,100 nautical miles without refueling, flying at a max speed of 120 knots. The Aeroscraft fleet will be able to take off and land vertically like a helicopter, hover, and reach locations that have no roads or places to land. The aircraft has been likened to a giant ‘flying submarine’ because of its internal buoyancy management system that compresses inert helium within to overcome traditional requirements for external ballast exchange when unloading cargo from LTA vehicles at destination.
This eliminates the need for ground personnel and supporting infrastructure and enables VTOL flight at maximum payload. And if you don’t believe us, just look at these amazing pics... Thunderbirds are go?