Military eyes resurrecting airships for cargo transport

The Army and the U.S. Transportation Command are looking into using updated versions of the ill-fated German Hindenburg airship and the Navy’s USS Macon dirigible to transport cargo in support of combat and humanitarian operations.

Development of a logistics airship — an aerial vehicle that gets its lift from a gas lighter than air, such as helium — “is urgently needed to enhance the capabilities of the Department of Defense in transporting personnel, supplies, equipment and other materials to increasingly numerous and dispersed locations around the world to respond to any crisis,” the Army Space and Missile Defense Command in Huntsville, Ala., said in a request for industry help that closed on Oct. 29.

Additionally, in a request for information released Nov. 8, TRANSCOM sought help from industry, academic researchers and commercial transportation companies to conduct economic analysis, modeling, simulation and experimentation for development of airships for worldwide Defense supply missions. See full article here

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Airships for the 21st Century: Long-duration, heavy-lift designs breathe new life into the world’s oldest aircraft technology

Residents of Caribou, Maine, who happened to glance up at the skies over the former Loring Air Force Base recently got a glimpse of the future—although they might have thought they were looking at something out of the past. Engineers from my company, Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), in McLean, Va., have been conducting test flights of a new type of lighter-than-air vehicle. Link to article on IEEE Spectrum

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