Composites at play in design of new dirigible airship

Portugal's Nortavia-Transportes Aereos has built a 1:10 scale, composites-intensive dirigible airship for the transport of people and cargo.

Related Topics:

Nortavia-Transportes Aereos (Oporto, Portugal) reported on Oct. 26 that it has developed a 1:10 scale, composites-intensive dirigible airship for the transport of people and cargo. The craft is 6m long, 3m tall and 3m wide (19.7 by 9.8 by 9.8 ft) and named after the Earth goddess, GAYA. 

The craft uses helium, a non-flammable gas, inert and lighter than air, making it extremely safe. The airship is made up of several modules, each filled with helium. The airship is versatile as it allows access to remote areas where no other aircraft can go as it can land and take off vertically. Also, it does not require a complex airport supporting infrastructure.

The propulsion system reportedly emits minimal CO2, making it environmentally friendly. The Nortavia airship combines a generator running on bio-fuel and photovoltaic cells. These generate energy, which in turn powers the vector electric motors responsible for navigation.

Cassiano Rodrigues, president of Nortavia, states: "The project, which is being developed by Nortavia, fills a gap in the current transport system. Rather than an alternative to the existing ones we are talking about a sixth form of transportation which is safe, efficient, versatile, economical and environmentally friendly."

It's unknown at this point when Nortavia will develop a full-scale version of the GAYA airship.

Editor Pick

Carbon Fiber conference agenda nears completion

The 2017 Carbon Fiber conference, Nov. 28-30 in Charleston, SC, US, includes a tour of the Boeing South Carolina plant, a panel on carbon fiber recycling and a pre-conference seminar on carbon fiber in transportation and energy applications.