Technical requirements for the SkyFreighter as defined by our customers
  The technical section, provided by Millennium Airship Inc. (MAS), first addresses the must have system attributes required to meet overall customer system requirements identified by their top level requirements.
Notional System Concept
  MAS recognize that the world requires a revolutionary hybrid heavy lift Airship to fulfill 21st Century transformation mission requirements. These requirements result in the need for an air vehicle that can provide heavy lift global reach transport of varying weights, sizes and volume. MAS will start with a 50 ton lift vehicle and will base the production of larger air vehicles on future demands; however we have already been queried on a 500 ton lift vehicle. Once the 50 ton vehicle is designed and in initial testing a decision will be made on larger sizes. The SkyFreighter 50 ton aircraft proposed operating perimeters will be as follows:
     Cargo weight - 70 tons
     Cargo volume - 14 TEU's
     Maximum range - 2000 Nautical miles @ 50 ton payload
     Cruise speed - 80 kts
     Landing zone - 2000 ft diameter circle
     Fuel - Jet-A
     Obstacles - 3 foot (including water)
Global Distances or HHLAV Deployment Possibilities
  The greatest drawback of past Airship technology has been the need for a ground crew at an off-airport reception site for tethering infrastructure or for ballast offsets to control air vehicle buoyancy during loading and unloading or ground activities. HHLAV needs none of these large infrastructure requirements at the deployment point or at the home operations or provisioning end. HHLAV is the design concept for a state of the art LTA air vehicle developed by Millennium Airship, which does not require any infrastructure for landing or take off or loading and unloading operations.
Vehicle Objectives and Mission Description
  The customer will participate with MAS to review and validate the critical system attributes to meet their overall requirements. MAS propose these generic top tier requirements to support the achievement of essential customer mission priorities for this air vehicle.
Ballast Exchange
  Once unloaded the HHLAV should be able to fly Very light under altitude controlling vectored thrust to the nearest source, which could be many hundreds of miles away where ballast can be collected. At this time, we are anticipating the removal of re-cyclable materials and waste from environmentally sensitive and remote locations on the return leg of each freight delivery. In the event that this cannot occur, we anticipate the use of water bladders that can be loaded at the remote site via local water sources and stand alone pumping systems.
Ability to (Maintain) Position during Loading and Unloading
  HHLAV will be equipped with an undercarriage capable of bearing 50-70 tons of cargo. Undercarriage trade studies should be conducted to determine the best materials, architecture, and geometry for load bearing and salt-water immersion requirements to be used on HHLAV. Analysis will also be done to optimize the undercarriage strength for rough terrain to ensure the gear will tolerate the landing zone conditions to be encountered at a given point of insertion (minimum 3-foot obstacle clearance). However, it is presumed that no undercarriage system of a HHLAV air vehicle will survive even a Short Take Off/Vertical Landing (STOVL) landing that makes contact with 3+ foot high obstacles when the air vehicle weighs 50+ tons.
Low-Speed Controlled Maneuver
  To meet operational requirements, the HHLAV air vehicle must be controllable at low speeds and under the control of the pilot.
Landing Site Flexibility
  Runway infrastructures are not required for the HHLAV as the lift provided by the envelope and Thrust Wings capability will make near vertical takeoff and landing a reality. HHLAV's keel/hull and major structural components should be constructed primarily of advanced carbon fiber composite, along with metal components necessary, to provide lightness, rigidity and strength as well as ease of maintenance. These materials will withstand repeated landings into unimproved landing sites, including vertical obstacles 3- feet high, and sea-state 3 sea conditions allowing the HHLAV to land and load or unload on either water or land, even in adverse conditions.
Ability to Operate in Adverse Weather
  HHLAV's cockpit should be equipped with all standard FAA required instrumentation including satellite weather tracking and moving map equipment, including Terrain Avoidance Warning System (TAWS), and advanced redundant integrated flight management system. Thus HHLAV will be as able as present day commercial air vehicle to avoid weather systems. HHLAV air vehicle are inherently stable in flight and are not subject to turbulence in the same manner as fixed wing air vehicle. The massive size and slow speed of the air vehicle also minimizes buffeting due to air turbulence. HHLAV will be lightning protected. Its sheer size will have a mitigating effect on forces placed on the vehicle itself.
   HHLAV should not require infrastructure for protection during normal operations or for maintenance. The preferred material being examined for HHLAV's envelope needs to deter atmospheric pollutants and retain its flexibility in both cold and hot extreme weather conditions.
Payload Volume
  Payload size is an important system attribute priority. Expected load size and weight depends upon the finished size of the air vehicle. Interior cargo bay space can be expanded and configured to fit the corresponding size and needs of most any transportation needs.
   HHLAV models are expected to range in sizes up to 400+ feet in length capable of lifting up to 70 tons of fully assembled materiel and personnel. Loading bay doors/ramps front and rear will be proportionate to the size of the cargo bay. The doors will provide a shielded access to the cargo bay for roll on, roll off operation. The side doors facilitate dockside loading and unloading.
Operating Speed
  HHLAV is expected to travel at speeds up to 100 mph and is capable of traveling up to 2,000 total miles without re-fueling; HHLAV realizes significant timesaving in turn- around time while fulfilling mission requirements.
Operating Altitude
  HHLAV's standard operating altitude of 10,000 feet or lower will not require cabin pressurization. However, it should be able to operate at altitudes as high as 20,000 feet with crew and passengers on supplemental oxygen.
Load and Unload Time
  The time required to load or unload cargo will be primarily dependent upon the size, amount and nature of the cargo. The loadmaster and the power/systems engineer to facilitate the process as well as reduce docking time required for sea operations will oversee loading and unloading. Roll-on, roll-off and ramp-pull capabilities both front and rear will facilitate speedy loading and unloading of cargo and personnel.
Mission-Tailorable Payload Area
  The cargo bay should be built to be mission diverse through the configuration of motorized blocked pulley systems, paddock tie-downs and container lockdowns. Baseline studies should be done for the fabrication of modular sleeping, kitchen, and restroom units for personnel under transport, humanitarian relief efforts and ships at sea re-supply efforts. Additional pre-fabricated units, such as clean room medical operating rooms required for special purposes are available.
Range
  Because LTA technology does not require fuel to create and maintain lift under normal circumstances, fuel can be conserved to create forward movement alone. Consequently the ability to travel global distances un-refueled has been a long-standing reality of LTA air vehicle. The weight of the load becomes less dependent upon fuel availability and more dependent upon lift capacity provided by air vehicle buoyancy. Payload weight will have minor trade off effects on distance and speed of the air vehicle. Thrust expended to offset ballast during in-theater operations will however, impact fuel consumption.
Take Off/Landing Distance
  It has always been MAS desire to have vertical take off and landing capabilities to maximize the number of available landing zones to use this freight moving system. However, we fully understand the additional costs and development time to make this a reality. Therefore having a loading zone approximately 2000 feet by 2000 feet with surface heights ranging no higher than 3 feet is within acceptable customer requirements.
Survivability
  HHLAV will need to be built to be extremely survivable. The envelope's internal low pressure makes the effect of holes created by small arms fire less problematic. LTA air vehicle have been known to remain aloft even with bullet holes in the envelope, yet should the envelope be damaged beyond its ability to maintain altitude the air vehicle will descend rather than plummet, allowing the flight crews to direct and choose the landing area. Additionally, HHLAV's amphibious nature permits the pilot to choose among many more available locations for emergency set-down.
Endurance
  Under conditions of neutral buoyancy, HHLAV air vehicle should be able to remain aloft as long as the lift provided by the lifting gas is maintained. Given that the buoyancy system does not have any problems, then the next mechanical system subject to maintenance problems would be the engines. The pacing factor for most air vehicle, as far as endurance is concerned, is fuel.
Payload Capacity (Weight)
  An additional important system attribute priority in a customer's point-to-point requirements is the weight the air vehicle can carry. Again, expected load size and payload weight capacity depends upon the finished size of the air vehicle. HHLAV's finished size; however, is a function of needs rather than design limitations.
In-flight Mission Adaptability
  The loadmaster crew will be trained to control logistical organization of the payload. Initial organization will account for total mission requirements and allow for re- organization of priority items to be loaded or unloaded at each landing. Large cargo bay doors and ramps located at the front, rear and both sides of the air vehicle reduce the number and degree of internal moves required while in-flight. The power/systems engineer will coordinate payload/ballast requirements with the senior loadmaster to assure the Center of Gravity (CG) envelope is maintained while in-flight.
Life Cycle Cost Considerations
  MAS also acknowledge that life cycle cost is a major consideration in procuring a large- scale air vehicle, such as HHLAV. With that in mind, our design priorities will include keeping the life cycle cost as low as possible as well as designing the air vehicle for ease of maintenance.
Sortie Generation Rates
  In addition to weather and maintenance issues, sortie generation rates are dependent upon many variables not considered here. However, as noted in paragraph Ability to Operate in Adverse Weather, HHLAV's structure should be minimally affected by inclement weather. Due to the robust nature of the HHLAV, regularly scheduled maintenance rotations can be performed without additional protective infrastructure. Parts availability will have an impact on sortie rates though no more so than that experienced by other commercial air vehicle. Thus, HHLAV is expected to meet or exceed sortie generation rates required by the customer. The time and material saved by eliminating delays and costs at multiple transfer points will also serve to augment sortie generation rates.
Life Cycle Cost and Operational Considerations
  The customer is interested in unique collaborative design methodologies, modeling and simulation tools, process capabilities, concepts and innovative teaming arrangements, which will reduce the costs of product development, manufacturing and operations and support. MAS propose several innovative concepts that will enhance fiscal responsibility and prudence in multiple areas of the HHLAV program.
 The greatest desire of air cargo freight companies is the global point-to-point, or true origin to true destination, delivery of large volume cargo at minimal cost. A robust structure capable of withstanding hard use, adverse weather and unimproved landing zone conditions is required in order to meet the customer's needs with regard to total life costs.
Copyright © 2017
Millennium Airship Inc/Skyfreighter Canada Ltd
Technical requirements for the SkyFreighter as defined by our customers
  The technical section, provided by Millennium Airship Inc. (MAS), first addresses the must have system attributes required to meet overall customer system requirements identified by their top level requirements.
Notional System Concept
  MAS recognize that the world requires a revolutionary hybrid heavy lift Airship to fulfill 21st Century transformation mission requirements. These requirements result in the need for an air vehicle that can provide heavy lift global reach transport of varying weights, sizes and volume. MAS will start with a 50 ton lift vehicle and will base the production of larger air vehicles on future demands; however we have already been queried on a 500 ton lift vehicle. Once the 50 ton vehicle is designed and in initial testing a decision will be made on larger sizes. The SkyFreighter 50 ton aircraft proposed operating perimeters will be as follows:
     Cargo weight - 70 tons
     Cargo volume - 14 TEU's
     Maximum range - 2000 Nautical miles @ 50 ton payload
     Cruise speed - 80 kts
     Landing zone - 2000 ft diameter circle
     Fuel - Jet-A
     Obstacles - 3 foot (including water)
Global Distances or HHLAV Deployment Possibilities
  The greatest drawback of past Airship technology has been the need for a ground crew at an off-airport reception site for tethering infrastructure or for ballast offsets to control air vehicle buoyancy during loading and unloading or ground activities. HHLAV needs none of these large infrastructure requirements at the deployment point or at the home operations or provisioning end. HHLAV is the design concept for a state of the art LTA air vehicle developed by Millennium Airship, which does not require any infrastructure for landing or take off or loading and unloading operations.
Vehicle Objectives and Mission Description
  The customer will participate with MAS to review and validate the critical system attributes to meet their overall requirements. MAS propose these generic top tier requirements to support the achievement of essential customer mission priorities for this air vehicle.
Ballast Exchange
  Once unloaded the HHLAV should be able to fly Very light under altitude controlling vectored thrust to the nearest source, which could be many hundreds of miles away where ballast can be collected. At this time, we are anticipating the removal of re- cyclable materials and waste from environmentally sensitive and remote locations on the return leg of each freight delivery. In the event that this cannot occur, we anticipate the use of water bladders that can be loaded at the remote site via local water sources and stand alone pumping systems.
Ability to (Maintain) Position during Loading and Unloading
  HHLAV will be equipped with an undercarriage capable of bearing 50-70 tons of cargo. Undercarriage trade studies should be conducted to determine the best materials, architecture, and geometry for load bearing and salt-water immersion requirements to be used on HHLAV. Analysis will also be done to optimize the undercarriage strength for rough terrain to ensure the gear will tolerate the landing zone conditions to be encountered at a given point of insertion (minimum 3-foot obstacle clearance). However, it is presumed that no undercarriage system of a HHLAV air vehicle will survive even a Short Take Off/Vertical Landing (STOVL) landing that makes contact with 3+ foot high obstacles when the air vehicle weighs 50+ tons.
Low-Speed Controlled Maneuver
  To meet operational requirements, the HHLAV air vehicle must be controllable at low speeds and under the control of the pilot.
Landing Site Flexibility
  Runway infrastructures are not required for the HHLAV as the lift provided by the envelope and Thrust Wings capability will make near vertical takeoff and landing a reality. HHLAV's keel/hull and major structural components should be constructed primarily of advanced carbon fiber composite, along with metal components necessary, to provide lightness, rigidity and strength as well as ease of maintenance. These materials will withstand repeated landings into unimproved landing sites, including vertical obstacles 3-feet high, and sea- state 3 sea conditions allowing the HHLAV to land and load or unload on either water or land, even in adverse conditions.
Ability to Operate in Adverse Weather
  HHLAV's cockpit should be equipped with all standard FAA required instrumentation including satellite weather tracking and moving map equipment, including Terrain Avoidance Warning System (TAWS), and advanced redundant integrated flight management system. Thus HHLAV will be as able as present day commercial air vehicle to avoid weather systems. HHLAV air vehicle are inherently stable in flight and are not subject to turbulence in the same manner as fixed wing air vehicle. The massive size and slow speed of the air vehicle also minimizes buffeting due to air turbulence. HHLAV will be lightning protected. Its sheer size will have a mitigating effect on forces placed on the vehicle itself.
   HHLAV should not require infrastructure for protection during normal operations or for maintenance. The preferred material being examined for HHLAV's envelope needs to deter atmospheric pollutants and retain its flexibility in both cold and hot extreme weather conditions.
Payload Volume
  Payload size is an important system attribute priority. Expected load size and weight depends upon the finished size of the air vehicle. Interior cargo bay space can be expanded and configured to fit the corresponding size and needs of most any transportation needs.
   HHLAV models are expected to range in sizes up to 400+ feet in length capable of lifting up to 70 tons of fully assembled materiel and personnel. Loading bay doors/ramps front and rear will be proportionate to the size of the cargo bay. The doors will provide a shielded access to the cargo bay for roll on, roll off operation. The side doors facilitate dockside loading and unloading.
Operating Speed
  HHLAV is expected to travel at speeds up to 100 mph and is capable of traveling up to 2,000 total miles without re-fueling; HHLAV realizes significant timesaving in turn-around time while fulfilling mission requirements.
Operating Altitude
  HHLAV's standard operating altitude of 10,000 feet or lower will not require cabin pressurization. However, it should be able to operate at altitudes as high as 20,000 feet with crew and passengers on supplemental oxygen.
Load and Unload Time
  The time required to load or unload cargo will be primarily dependent upon the size, amount and nature of the cargo. The loadmaster and the power/systems engineer to facilitate the process as well as reduce docking time required for sea operations will oversee loading and unloading. Roll-on, roll-off and ramp-pull capabilities both front and rear will facilitate speedy loading and unloading of cargo and personnel.
Mission-Tailorable Payload Area
  The cargo bay should be built to be mission diverse through the configuration of motorized blocked pulley systems, paddock tie-downs and container lockdowns. Baseline studies should be done for the fabrication of modular sleeping, kitchen, and restroom units for personnel under transport, humanitarian relief efforts and ships at sea re-supply efforts. Additional pre- fabricated units, such as clean room medical operating rooms required for special purposes are available.
Range
  Because LTA technology does not require fuel to create and maintain lift under normal circumstances, fuel can be conserved to create forward movement alone. Consequently the ability to travel global distances un-refueled has been a long-standing reality of LTA air vehicle. The weight of the load becomes less dependent upon fuel availability and more dependent upon lift capacity provided by air vehicle buoyancy. Payload weight will have minor trade off effects on distance and speed of the air vehicle. Thrust expended to offset ballast during in-theater operations will however, impact fuel consumption.
Take Off/Landing Distance
  It has always been MAS desire to have vertical take off and landing capabilities to maximize the number of available landing zones to use this freight moving system. However, we fully understand the additional costs and development time to make this a reality. Therefore having a loading zone approximately 2000 feet by 2000 feet with surface heights ranging no higher than 3 feet is within acceptable customer requirements.
Survivability
  HHLAV will need to be built to be extremely survivable. The envelope's internal low pressure makes the effect of holes created by small arms fire less problematic. LTA air vehicle have been known to remain aloft even with bullet holes in the envelope, yet should the envelope be damaged beyond its ability to maintain altitude the air vehicle will descend rather than plummet, allowing the flight crews to direct and choose the landing area. Additionally, HHLAV's amphibious nature permits the pilot to choose among many more available locations for emergency set-down.
Endurance
  Under conditions of neutral buoyancy, HHLAV air vehicle should be able to remain aloft as long as the lift provided by the lifting gas is maintained. Given that the buoyancy system does not have any problems, then the next mechanical system subject to maintenance problems would be the engines. The pacing factor for most air vehicle, as far as endurance is concerned, is fuel.
Payload Capacity (Weight)
  An additional important system attribute priority in a customer's point-to-point requirements is the weight the air vehicle can carry. Again, expected load size and payload weight capacity depends upon the finished size of the air vehicle. HHLAV's finished size; however, is a function of needs rather than design limitations.
In-flight Mission Adaptability
  The loadmaster crew will be trained to control logistical organization of the payload. Initial organization will account for total mission requirements and allow for re-organization of priority items to be loaded or unloaded at each landing. Large cargo bay doors and ramps located at the front, rear and both sides of the air vehicle reduce the number and degree of internal moves required while in-flight. The power/systems engineer will coordinate payload/ballast requirements with the senior loadmaster to assure the Center of Gravity (CG) envelope is maintained while in-flight.
Life Cycle Cost Considerations
  MAS also acknowledge that life cycle cost is a major consideration in procuring a large-scale air vehicle, such as HHLAV. With that in mind, our design priorities will include keeping the life cycle cost as low as possible as well as designing the air vehicle for ease of maintenance.
Sortie Generation Rates
  In addition to weather and maintenance issues, sortie generation rates are dependent upon many variables not considered here. However, as noted in paragraph Ability to Operate in Adverse Weather, HHLAV's structure should be minimally affected by inclement weather. Due to the robust nature of the HHLAV, regularly scheduled maintenance rotations can be performed without additional protective infrastructure. Parts availability will have an impact on sortie rates though no more so than that experienced by other commercial air vehicle. Thus, HHLAV is expected to meet or exceed sortie generation rates required by the customer. The time and material saved by eliminating delays and costs at multiple transfer points will also serve to augment sortie generation rates.
Life Cycle Cost and Operational Considerations
  The customer is interested in unique collaborative design methodologies, modeling and simulation tools, process capabilities, concepts and innovative teaming arrangements, which will reduce the costs of product development, manufacturing and operations and support. MAS propose several innovative concepts that will enhance fiscal responsibility and prudence in multiple areas of the HHLAV program.
 The greatest desire of air cargo freight companies is the global point-to-point, or true origin to true destination, delivery of large volume cargo at minimal cost. A robust structure capable of withstanding hard use, adverse weather and unimproved landing zone conditions is required in order to meet the customer's needs with regard to total life costs.
Copyright © 2017
Millennium Airship Inc/Skyfreighter Canada Ltd