Ground Handling


This films shows the Hybrid Airships ground handling capabilities.


The hybrid airship is designed by Lockheed martin to operate on flat(ish) unprepared ground such as sand, snow, ice, and even water using a unique  Air Cushion Landing System (ACLS).

The ACLS consists of three  large hover pads located on the underside of the airship. The capabilities of this technology, the hybrid airship is able to transport cargo to and from remote location with limited ground handling requirements. The ALCS uses hovercraft technology and thrust vectoring engines to taxi into position.  When in position the ALCS then selects reverse and creates suction (grip) on the ground to hold the hybrid airship in place. More information on the ACLS can be found here.

Once the hybrid has taxied into position using the ACLS, a water tanker is positioned and hoses are attached so that the ballast tanks can be filled to compensate for weight change, as cargo is unloaded to make sure the hybrid airship keeps the maintains the correct buoyancy. The same method is used when refuelling the airship to maintain weight and balance.

The type of cargo  being  handled will dictate  which ground handling system is used. Pallets are unloaded or loaded using standard lorry offloading procedures as the cargo bay is designed to stand at truck bed height, facilitating use of forklift trucks, rough terrain pallet stackers, high lift pallet trucks, international harvester terrain forklift, etc. to load and off load the hybrid airship (terrain dependant).

Cargo containers are unloaded or loaded using either a winching system on the vehicle offloading or using the winching system in the cargo bay when loading. The cargo bay floor has integrated rollers to assist with using a winching system.

The hybrid airship is designed so that vehicles can be driven in and out of the cargo bay using ramps so that costly handling equipment is not required.

Cargo Bay Rollers.jpg
Pallet Loading.jpg