These buoyant aircraft are omni-directional (O-D) aerial-rovers capable of endless silent free unpowered or quiet long lasting helicopter style dirigible flight at any stage. This may be with pilot, R/C or remote/autonomous control carrying people and/or customer payloads. They were designed under Balloon and Normal Category regulations for: sport, pleasure, general commercial or private purposes, search & rescue, reconnaissance, and as platforms for electronic/optical system payloads serving private, business and public service duties. They will be able to access and operate out of small isolated locations practically anywhere. See the documents following for information:
- Mk 1 and Mk 2 leaflets for further information about each type.
- Development report (available from contact), explaining their design and associated reasoning for the special types – intended to help the airship industry and operators get underway and become successful. Their design includes necessary ground infrastructure arrangements for logistics, outdoor inflation/assembly, maintenance and operation in assured cost effective protected ways against storms.
- Patrol Luffships report (available from contact), explaining the need for them to undertake long endurance roving aerial-work duties.
- Pilots for Lenticular Luffship Drones article (available from contact), explaining when it makes sense to be flown by crew onboard.
Types designed include: Mk 1 (LS-L20) with a Ø20 m aerostat and Mk 2 (LS-L25) with a Ø25 m aerostat, which would follow under STC rules. They both have interchangeable payload units that may be different and quickly swapped, facilitating role change for other duties and customer requirements, designed for:
- Mk 1: 300 kg disposable load, 8 hr operation under power – Type certification between Balloon & Normal category standards.
- Mk 2: 900 kg disposable load, 24 hr operation under power – Type certification under Normal category standards.
Note: when flown as free balloons and with solar panels for energy, flight endurance will be considerably longer.
They incorporate new quad cycloidal propellers (CPs), enabling multi-rotor drone style control. These propellers are a new development that airships generally need. See the following pdf file for brief information about CPs.
The designs build on previous Models and the LS-LT18 development, incorporating lessons learned that extend the particular omni-directional airship capability a step further; able (when prototypes have been produced) to demonstrate how later bigger types would operate and to learn from them for further developments, intended to follow.
The Mk 1 design was developed 2013/14 to a mature level through an aircraft design/engineering consultancy company serving major aircraft developers worldwide, approved by the airworthiness authorities. The design was ready for prototype production, test and the certification programme, needing finance to continue. Contact us if you would like to support further development.
We also are interested to hear from people who would like to own and operate them, when certificated. Please register interest via contact.
Note: Under new management since 2018, Luffships Ltd is revising its designs to improve capability, adopting technology and methods learned from our journey of development since incorporation 2010.