LOS ANGELES, 12 May 2015. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted U.S. patent number 9,016,622 for the “Flight System for a Constant Volume Variable Buoyancy Air Vehicle,” with Onboard “Control-of-Static-Heaviness” (COSH) management invented and tested by Worldwide Aeroscraft Corp. (Aeros) in Montebello, Calif.
“Large capacity airships have long been a dream for cargo logistics flexibility, but impracticable, because if you off-loaded 100 tons your helium-filled aircraft will float away if not first loaded with 100 tons of ballast at your pre-determined destination. Inefficient and limiting, this is why airships never transitioned into cargo airships,” explains Igor Pasternak, COSH Inventor and CEO at Aeros. “This patent will permit only Aeros and our partners to leverage the empowerment of true VTOL in global heavy airlift, and the independence from off-board ballast and ground infrastructure this capability provides.”
The patent marks a game-changing advancement in the field of aviation, company officials say, and now permits the aircraft type to engage in a broad set of new missions, including long-range, heavy-lift cargo transport. The technology overcomes a historical limitation of airships – their need for external ballast – officials say.
COSH technology “empowers exciting new opportunities in global commercial logistics, military logistics, and disaster relief response, among many others,” a company representative says. “Greatly surpassing the speed of cargo ships in global logistics, transport airships are poised to dramatically increase heavy cargo lift capability and destination alternatives, while reducing the current cost of air delivery on a ton/mile basis.”
Other benefits include: significantly reduced fuel consumption for aircraft operations, ability to perform new heavy load operations in remote areas, and radically altering the hub and spoke distribution structure to one of direct and flexible air delivery, officials say.
The patent protects Aeros’ proprietary technology for buoyancy management and flight principle empowering the Aeroscraft’s vertical takeoff-landing (VTOL) capabilities at maximum payload without ballast requirements.
The technology has been successfully demonstrated by an Aeroscraft prototype, and will allow the Aeroscraft to operate as a lighter-than-air vehicle (LTA) when flying, yet become heavier-than-air when needed to accommodate weight changes during payload removal, and to support ground operations.
The success of the Aeroscraft technology demonstration vehicle (Pentagon’s Project Pelican) is a motivating factor cited for the recent creation of a Cargo Airship Congressional Caucus in Washington. The new caucus will encourage the development of these revolutionary aircraft for military and civilian cargo transport, as well as support the emerging industry and leadership position of American firms.
Founded more than 28 years ago, the Aeroscraft Corp. (Aeros) is a lighter-than-air, FAA-certified aircraft manufacturing company. Aeros has achieved multiple FAA airship type certificates and operates with an FAA Production Certificate, while featuring a product line that includes advanced airships, tethered aerostats, and the Aeroscraft cargo airship.