While the US military is forking over hundreds of millions of dollars over to Northrop Grumman for a new kind of hybrid airship, a company in Perth Australia is looking at turning the classic zeppelin design on it’s ear with a design that has more in common with a dandelion seed than the classic cigar shape that has dominated popular thought for the last hundred years.
What is the advantage of a craft made up of a saucer shaped lifting body with a long tube extending down to a control deck? Increased stability reduced landing footprint. The airship never has to be turned, and has an advantage of 360 degree cycloidal engines as well as a proposed 150,000 KG payload capacity. This is, potentially a superior cross between a helicopter and blimp with significant advantages over either.
For more info, visit the official Skylifter Website.