Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

VEATAL — Result In Brief

Project ID: 16093
Funded under: FP6-AEROSPACE
Country: France

Airships to make a comeback

During the early 20th century airships ruled the skies, transporting passengers and freight around the world. In today's age of globalisation airships can deliver cargo to any place, in all weathers and without expensive infrastructure.
Airships to make a comeback
The 'Validation of an experimental airship transportation for aerospace logistics' (Veatal) project worked on promoting the ability of airships to once again carry cargo across the globe.The EU-funded project organised conferences and workshops regarding the transportation of large, unwieldy and indivisible payloads.

Veatal's main aim was to demonstrate the advantages of airship technology, which is of particular interest to the aerospace industry. The project also simulated the operations required for a transcontinental airship flight, covering all the requirements of the European aerospace industry.

Project partners produced a roadmap for the development of technical innovations and larger prototypes, and set up an international training centre for prospective pilots. The consortium reviewed the latest technology in aerostatic matters, and studied past history and achievements. Partners described the conditions and constraints attached to satellite payload transportation and daily operations with the help of logisticians from different areas of industry.

Researchers demonstrated how the tonnage limit can be broken down using an existing Russian prototype, while animated simulations showed how navigation to launching sites can be achieved. Partners also investigated how this investment in technology could benefit the economic systems at large.

Thanks to the Veatal project, airships will be able to provide a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative to moving large bulky cargoes long distances. The initiative thus provided Europe with an important competitive edge in the global marketplace.

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