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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 3/12/2006 5:48:50 AM EDT

Aeros Dreaming Big With WALRUS Project
Posted 17-Feb-2006 07:08 | Permanent Link
Related stories: Americas - USA, Blimps & LTA Craft, Design Innovations, New Systems Tech, People, Russia, Small Business

Aeros' Russian concept
(click to view full)DID's in-depth article covering DARPA's project for the 1-2 million pound (500-1,000 ton) WALRUS Hybrid Ultra-Large Aircraft (HULA) blimp-aircraft remains perennially popular. There's something about a 1,000 foot long blimp-like aircraft that can lift a full battalion and ship them 8,000 miles in a week, without requiring landing strips or in-depth infrastructure, that appeals to the imagination. DARPA expects to pick a winning design in September 2006, and award a $100 million contract for a prototype airship. The LA Times reports that if WALRUS works out, the total contract could be worth up to $11 billion over 30 years.

Two firms won the $3 million preliminary design contracts: Lockheed's fabled "Skunkworks," producers of "impossible" aircraft like the U-2 Dragon Lady and SR-71 Blackbird - and a small California firm called Aeros made up of Russian emigres. A recent LA Times story profiles Worldwide Aeros, noting their confidence ("In reality we don't feel Lockheed is our technical competitor.... There is only one solution, and we have that one solution."), quality of proposal ("seemed outstanding," said one evaluator), revenues ($10 million expected this year from selling ad blimps), and company origins. CEO Igor Pasternak and colleagues began designing mammoth airships in Russia as a way to transport heavy cargo to Siberia's remote oil fields, and future plans for their design also extend to "cruise ships in the sky." They aren't the only ones who can imagine extensive civilian spin-offs from this technology; of course, notes Pasternak, "it can totally change how you conduct warfare."
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 9:08:28 PM EDT
looks like a big fat slow target.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 11:25:10 PM EDT
Not intended for front line transport. It is intended to ferry troops and equipment to area of operation, a replacement or supplement to the roll-on roll off ships, but slower than the C-5s and leased 747. It will also accomdiate cargos that are too big for the C-5 but need to be in area faster than surface transportation.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 11:30:23 PM EDT
I love airships like everyone else. But they are death traps.

Know about the USS Macon, the US airship carrier?

Link Posted: 3/12/2006 11:36:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/12/2006 11:36:52 PM EDT by Sukebe]

Originally Posted By PaDanby:
looks like a big fat slow target.

No bigger, fatter or slower than a surface ship. It could get your resources close to in land theaters of operation. Then it's a matter of moving short distances overland to the battle area. It's worth a look.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 11:37:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/14/2006 9:32:32 PM EDT by R0ME0]
looks like my last girlfriend....
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