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Worldwide Aeros Corp

Worldwide Aeros Corporation
Airship Manufacturer
Industry Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, and Advanced Technologies
Founded 1987[1]
Founder Igor Pasternak (Chairman, President & CEO)
Headquarters Montebello, California, USA
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Igor Pasternak
Products

Aeroscraft
Sky Dragon Airship
Tactical Aerostats

Early Warning Systems
Divisions

Aeroscraft Corporation

North American Defense Advanced Technology Solutions (NADATS)
Slogan "Innovation never stops"
Website http://www.aerosml.com

Worldwide Aeros Corp is an American manufacturer of airships based in Montebello, California. It was founded in 1992 by the current CEO and Chief Engineer, Igor Pasternak, who came to America from Ukraine.

The company's current products are non-rigids aimed at both the military and commercial markets, including transport, surveillance, broadcasting and advertising.

Worldwide Aeros Corp. is also developing what it calls the Aeroscraft, a rigid airship with a number of innovative features, the most important of which is a method of controlling the airship's static lift, which can be reduced by pumping helium from the internal gasbags and storing it under pressure: conversely lift can be increased by reinflating the gasbags using the stored gas.[2] The company has received $60 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop the concept,[3] resulting in a prototype named Dragon Dream which underwent systems tests and some tethered flights in late 2013. This prototype was subsequently damaged when part of the roof of the hangar at the former Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin in which it was constructed collapsed on 7 October 2013.[4]

Contents

  • History 1
    • Corporate Timeline 1.1
  • Aeroscraft 2
    • Project Pelican and Dragon Dream 2.1
    • Planned full-scale craft 2.2
    • Capabilities 2.3
      • Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) 2.3.1
      • Oversized Cargo Bay 2.3.2
    • Design 2.4
    • Technology 2.5
      • Control of Static Heaviness (COSH) 2.5.1
      • Ceiling Suspension Cargo Deployment System 2.5.2
      • Rigid Structure 2.5.3
      • Landing System 2.5.4
      • Vectored Thrust Engines 2.5.5
        • Low Speed Control (LSC) 2.5.5.1
  • Fleet 3
  • Products 4
    • Tethered balloons 4.1
    • Aeros 40D Sky Dragon 4.2
    • NADATS (North American Defense Advanced Technology Solutions) 4.3
      • Early Warning Systems 4.3.1
        • Elevated Early Warning Systems 4.3.1.1
        • SkyDragon Airship Surveillance System 4.3.1.2
        • Multi-Payload Tethered Aerostats 4.3.1.3
      • Tactical Systems 4.3.2
        • Tactical Towers 4.3.2.1
        • Tactical Aerostat 4.3.2.2
        • Remote Weapon Station 4.3.2.3
        • Command and Control 4.3.2.4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

History

Igor Pasternak founded a design bureau in Ukraine in 1981 at the Lviv Polytechnic University. The private company Aeros was created in 1986 as a result of Soviet reforms and started producing moored balloons. It moved to the USA in 1992.

In 2005, Aeros was granted the largest contract under DARPA's project Walrus HULA. Project Walrus was not renewed in 2010.[5] However, the Pentagon continued to fund Aeros through the Rapid Reaction Technology Office, contracting with them in 2010 to build a prototype that could demonstrate key technologies.[6] This prototype became known as the "Pelican."

The Pentagon has provided $50 million in funding for the development of the "Pelican" prototype.[7]

Corporate Timeline

  • 1981 - Igor Pasternak establishes a volunteer airship design bureau at Lviv Polytechnic University in Ukraine.
  • 1986 - Aeros becomes one of the first private aerospace and engineering companies permitted under Gorbachev's Perestroika reforms.
  • 1987 - Aeros launches a production line of tethered aerostats and begins worldwide deliveries.
  • 1989 - Aeros begins the research and development on heavy lift airship concept.
  • 1991 - Aeros begins its expansion and opens its first international office in Sofia, Bulgaria.
  • 1994 - Aeros relocates to the United States to pursue its dream to advance "lighter than air" technologies.
  • 1995 - Aeros develops its first airship, the Aeros 50' that marks start of the Aeros airship excellence.
  • 1997 -Aeros develops the Aeros 25M tethered Aerostat System for the U.S. Department of Defense.
  • 1999 - Aeros launches airship model Aeros 40A.
  • 2000 - Aeros develops the 40B "Sky Dragon" airship equipped with a fly-by-wire system, and receives an unrestricted type certification to fly worldwide over populated areas.
  • 2001 - Aeros 40B is delivered to Germany to provide services in the land of Zeppelins. Aeros 18M was produced for the Canadian market.
  • 2003 - Aeros receives the contract award from the U.S. Department of Defense for the development of a High Altitude Airship.
  • 2004 - Aeros delivers the 1170 tethered Aerostat for the U.S. military to ensure success in the War on Terror. For the first time, Aeros creates a new type of rigid variable buoyancy air vehicle called the Aeroscraft.
  • 2005 - The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contracts Aeros to develop a buoyancy assisted strategic airlifter.
  • 2006 - For the first time ever, Aeros demonstrates a new technology that allows buoyant vehicles to operate without ballast.
  • 2007 - Aeros develops a new 40D "Sky Dragon" airship that becomes a worldwide ‘system of choice’ and receives a FAA type certificate.
  • 2008 - The United States Federal Aviation Administration recognizes Aeros’ product quality and awards a Production Certificate. For the 1st time in aviation history, Aeros successfully demonstrates the ability to control buoyancy in flight.
  • 2009 - Aeros successfully demonstrates the rigid aero-structure that allows buoyancy assisted air vehicles to have greater military utility. Aeros begins construction of the Aeroscraft, designed to offer game changing air cargo capabilities.
  • 2010 - Aeros developes a new advanced surveillance tethered Aerostat system, in support of the Republic of Korea Armed Forces. Aeros puts its focus on the technology development for the Wind Energy Industry to achieve 10MW power output.
  • 2011 - Aeros continues integration of the Aeroscraft, an air vehicle that will revolutionize global logistics.
  • 2012 - Aeros deliveres on time and under budget on a $35 million contract with the DOD and DARPA, proving all of the technologies and capabilities of the Aeroscraft.
  • 2013 - The Dragon Dream had its first float on January 3. The Pentagon declared the tests were a success. On July 4, the Dragon Dream rolled out of the hangar for the first time and on September 11, the first flight of the Dragon Dream occurred.[8]

Aeroscraft

The Aeroscraft is a heavy-lift, variable-buoyancy cargo airship featuring an onboard buoyancy management system, rigid structure, vertical takeoff and landing performance, and operational abilities at low speed, in hover, and from unprepared surfaces. Aeros’ unique and patented COSH technology breakthrough permits airships to efficiently address global cargo/logistics applications for the first time. This new capability will dramatically decrease the time and cost for delivering large ‘project’ and container cargo around the world, especially to austere areas with no pre-positioned infrastructure.

Worldwide Aeros Corp. is also developing what it calls the "Aeroscraft", a rigid airship with a number of innovative features, the most important of which is a method of controlling the airship's static lift, which can be reduced by pumping helium from the internal gasbags and storing it under pressure: conversely lift can be increased by reinflating the gasbags using the stored gas.[9]

This prototype was subsequently damaged when part of the roof of the hangar at the former Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin in which it was constructed collapsed on 7 October 2013.[10]

Project Pelican and Dragon Dream

Half-scale prototype "Dragon Dream"
Project Pelican was a US Government-funded project to build and test a half-scale prototype of the proposed full-size Aeroscraft, using representative structure and avionics.[11] Named Dragon Dream and having a length of 266 feet (81 m) and design speed of 60 knots (110 km/h), it does not carry a payload.[12] The company received $60 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop the concept,[13] resulting in a prototype named Dragon Dream which underwent systems tests and some tethered flights in late 2013. The flight of the 'Dragon Dream. With funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, the first floating took place on January 3, 2013 at Tustin, California, where it hovered indoors at a height of 12 feet for several minutes.[14] The Pentagon has declared that the tests of the Pelican were a "success", with the craft meeting its demonstration objectives.[15] The Pelican was rolled out of its hangar on July 4, 2013.[16][17] The company sued the Navy for $65 million in 2015 after the hangar structure fell on the aircraft.[18]

Planned full-scale craft

The company is beginning production of two examples, an ML866 and an ML868 model.[19] A model capable of lifting 500 tons, the ML86X, is also proposed.[12]

The ML866 model will be 555 feet (169 m) in length, have a payload capacity of 66 tons, a top speed of 120 knots (222 km/h), a range of 3,100 nmi (5,700 km), and a altitude ceiling of 12,000 ft (3,700 m). The larger ML868 model will be 770 feet (230 m) in length and carry 200 tons, with the same speed and altitude ceiling as the ML866.[12]

Aeros is currently seeking $3 billion to fund the construction of 24 Aeroscraft vehicles, including the 250-ton capacity ML868 model.[20]

Capabilities

Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL)

Another way to understand the Aeroscraft’s VTOL capability is to compare the Aeroscraft to a submarine. For example, when a submarine needs to dive into the water, it takes on water to make it heavier. When the submarine needs to surface, it releases that water to become lighter. Similarly, the Aeroscraft can control its weight by releasing and taking on air, controlling the heaviness or lightness of the vehicle.

One obstacle that conventional and hybrid airships face are their inability to control buoyancy without venting helium. Another operational challenge faced by airships and hybrid airships is the inability to control or adjust static lift during operations. Traditional airships' requirement for external ballast exchange and existing ground infrastructure has significantly limited their cargo utility. Once the cargo is off-loaded, traditional helium-dependent airships become extremely light, and this static lift causes them to float away. To combat these forces, they require external ballast exchange, using rocks, ice, water, or lead bags, to keep the airship anchored to the ground.

Because the Aeroscraft is equipped with VTOL capability, it can deliver cargo directly from point-of-origin to point-of-need. Furthermore, other hybrid airships are runway dependent at higher operating weights, but the Aeroscraft does not need a runway, even at full payload. Because of its COSH technology, its computer-controlled virtually-automated directional thrust and station-keeping technology facilitates off and on-loading stores while in hover.[21]

Oversized Cargo Bay

The cargo bay is located at the bottom of the aircraft cavity and is loaded by using a pulley system to load the cargo from the ground. The cargo bay of the largest Aeroscraft is much larger than any bay container in any commercial freight aircraft carrier today (including the Boeing 747-8F and the Antonov 124 aircraft).[21]

Design

The Aeroscraft is a Rigid airship, having an internal structure to maintain its shape. As such it can reach otherwise difficult or inaccessible locations and can hover indefinitely at zero airspeed and with a full payload on board.[22] The design incorporates cargo bays that are larger than any current air, truck or rail transport, while the payload capacity is significantly more than the current 16-ton maximum for helicopters.[12][23]

Propulsion is provided by conventional propellers, and in addition the Aeroscraft design has six downward-pointing Turbofan jet engines that assist in Vertical take-off and landing.[24] These turbofans, together with the Aeros "COSH" buoyancy control system, make the Aeroscraft capable of taking off and landing vertically without the need for a Runway, a ground crew, or external Ballast.[25]

Like any airship, the Aeroscraft may be used to transport cargo to remote or difficult locations and to hover over uneven terrain, in both civil and military use.[11][26] Its operational independence from runways, ground crews or other infrastructure makes it especially suited to military and emergency relief operations. The large cargo bays would allow Outsize cargo such as wind turbines or large aerospace parts to be stored internally.

The manufacturer also envisions the delivery of large amounts of commercial merchandise from a centralized location.[27]

Technology

Control of Static Heaviness (COSH)

Aeros has developed a technology to avoid the need for ballast, which they call "Control of Static Heaviness (COSH)". The main gas bag is inflated with helium to create lift for takeoff, then on landing some of the gas is re-compressed into a storage tank to partially deflate the gas bag and reduce lift.[22][24][28]

The COSH system also avoids the need to re-ballast when taking on or dropping off payload, and consequently also the associated ground crew.

The patented control of static heaviness system (COSH) internal buoyancy management system internally ballasts the non-flammable helium into the aircraft’s helium pressure envelopes (HPEs) (pictured above), helping the vehicle manage buoyant lift. The HPE units contain and control the compressed helium and allow the overall helium volume envelope to be reduced or increased, enabling the air vehicle to become heavy or buoyant in a controlled manner. The compression of helium into the HPE’s creates a negative pressure within the Aeroscraft Aeroshell, permitting air-expansion chambers to fill with readily-available environmental ballast (air), which acts in concert with reduced Helium static lift to make the Aeroscraft heavier, when desired to compensate for adjustments in payload.[29]

Ceiling Suspension Cargo Deployment System

The Aeroscraft’s cargo system provides the aircraft with unmatched volume and flexibility when deploying cargo to virtually any point on the planet, empowering the aircraft to pick-up and off-load cargo in more efficient ways, even from hover. The internal cargo handling system has been designed to facilitate cargo loading, sorting, and unloading in a more innovative and efficient manner, overcoming pre-deployment requirements for ground handling cargo equipment in austere environments. The system affixes containers and cargo pallets to rails in the fuselage ceiling, rather than on the floor; adjusts cargo positioning to accommodate changes in center of gravity, such as when other cargo is loaded and unloaded; facilitates access to any piece of cargo at anytime, eliminating unneeded cargo movements and reducing ground time; and eliminates labor costs with traditional cargo handling and weight-and-balance requirements.[29]

Rigid Structure

Generally, airships have a non-rigid structure, and these vehicles rely on the gases that fill them to retain their shape. The Aeroscraft has a rigid structural design and is the only rigid structure variable buoyancy air vehicle of its kind.

Its rigid structure is made from ultra-light aluminum and carbon fiber materials. It consists of transverse bulkheads which are connected to longitudinal members. It is reinforced with high strength composite tensioned cables.

This rigid structure provides an excellent range of hard points for mounting engines, canards, cockpit, propulsion systems, and other auxiliary systems both inside and outside of the hull.[29]

Landing System

Replacing the more familiar landing gear found on airplanes, the Aeroscraft is equipped with landing cushions that aid the vehicles unique functionality. They aid landing on unimproved surfaces, even water, and perform like a hovercraft during taxi by pushing air through them. In addition, the landing cushions are equipped with very powerful gripping/suction capabilities that ensure the vehicle stays grounded and in place when not in flight. This reversible airflow helps hold the vehicle to the ground, even when the Aeroscraft arrives at destination for cargo offloading, allowing it to operate in heavier wind conditions.[29]

Vectored Thrust Engines

The Aeroscraft is equipped with vectored thrust engines that rotate and allow maneuverability. In addition to aiding helicopter-like vertical take-off and landing capability, the vectored thrust propels the vehicle in forward flight and aids the vehicle with ground-based taxiing.[29]

Low Speed Control (LSC)

When in forward flight, the Aeroscraft is controlled by the aerodynamic control surfaces (vertical stabilizers, empennages and canards); however, the low speed control system aids the pilot in lower wind conditions such as during VTOL and hover. The LSC system acts as a rear thruster to propel the vehicle in forward flight, and permits the thrust to be redirected while in hover to help the vehicle maintain desired positioning and orientation.[29]

Fleet

Products

Tethered balloons

The company manufactures tethered kite balloons for a range of uses.

Aeros 40D Sky Dragon

The Aeros 40D "Sky Dragon" is a 50-metre long single pilot non-rigid airship. Only one was built for a Chinese customer. Flight trials and operations were successfully completed in China.

NADATS (North American Defense Advanced Technology Solutions)

NADATS is a division of Worldwide Aeros Corp which serves operators with elevated early warning systems, tactical ISR solutions and custom, mission-specific equipment for actionable intelligence in hostile environments, for border and coast guard, for facility and event security, and for related missions.[30]

Early Warning Systems

Elevated Early Warning Systems

Aeros’ airships are highly mobile, flexible, quiet and stable elevated sensor platforms, presenting extended time-on-station advantages when delivering 360 perspective of the regional air and ground environment.

Aeros’ contemporary 40E ‘Sky Dragon’ airship has a useful payload greater than one ton, range exceeding 500 km, 24-hour mission duration, and can observe up to 70,000 square kilometers at a time.

Aeros’ 40E ‘Sky Dragon’ advanced payload options include: ·Long-range AESA multi-mode radar ·HD daylight and thermal imaging (EO/IR) system ·Communications and data equipment ·Threat response system ·Making to ideal for missions as varied as Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), border and security applications, maritime patrol, and search and rescue. [31]

SkyDragon Airship Surveillance System

[32]

Multi-Payload Tethered Aerostats

Tactical Systems

Tactical Towers

[33]

Tactical Aerostat

[34]

Remote Weapon Station

[35]

Command and Control

[36]

See also

References

  1. ^ Janes guide to Aeros Corp
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ http://aeroscraft.com/history/4575665539
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b
  12. ^ a b c d
  13. ^
  14. ^ High-tech cargo airship undergoing tests - Militarytimes.com, January 30, 2013
  15. ^ "DOD: Rigid-Hull Hybrid Air Vehicle Technology Demo Achieved Objectives." InsideDefense.com. 3 July 2013. Accessed 15 July 2013. http://aeroscorp.com/download/i/mark_dl/u/4011780344/4595063755/Inside%20Defense.pdf
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ http://www.aerospace-technology.com/projects/aeroscraft-ml866-rigid-variable-buoyancy-air-vehicle-us/
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b
  22. ^ a b
  23. ^ http://www.autoevolution.com/news/the-largest-transport-helicopters-in-the-world-24549.html
  24. ^ a b
  25. ^
  26. ^ Battlefield Cargo Airship Nears First Flight - Armedforces-Int.com, January 7, 2013
  27. ^ Tompkins, Joshua. The Flying Luxury Hotel. Popular Science. Accessed on 15-10-2007.
  28. ^ http://aviationspaceindia.com/content/aeroscraft
  29. ^ a b c d e f
  30. ^ http://nadats.com/home/
  31. ^ http://nadats.com/home/?page_id=529
  32. ^ http://nadats.com/home/?page_id=506
  33. ^ http://nadats.com/home/?page_id=535
  34. ^ http://nadats.com/home/?page_id=537
  35. ^ http://nadats.com/home/?page_id=539
  36. ^ http://nadats.com/home/?page_id=531

External links

  • Worldwide Aeros website
  • Worldwide Aeros Corporation official site
  • Popular Science article
  • aeroscraft.com
  • Aeroscraft's "WorldwideAeros" Youtube channel.
  • Wired"The Aeroscraft airship could change the very concept of flying",
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