In the future, we can literally move a building from one place to another. SkyLifter a buoyant aircraft makes it possible to vertically raise and set down payloads, almost anything and anywhere. This piloted dirigible gas balloon system is not designed to fly as fast as jets and rotor craft, instead its main function is the unique heavy airlift capability. Skylifter provides payload capability over 15 times the lifting capacity of an S-64 Skycrane helicopter. It can move a hospital/clinic to provide temporary full service facilities in remote locations or move a luxury resort in exotic places where permanent buildings are not permitted.
From : Skylifter
Text from the website about Skylifter design
We have been careful to make the design of SkyLifter as simple and low-cost as possible to build and operate, but without compromising performance or safety.
The design brings together many systems already proven and in use in industry. We have adapted them to our requirements and added some of our own innovations. The result is shorter development time, less cost and much less project risk.
For example, three key features of the design are:
- The symmetrical discus (lenticular) aerostat (balloon) which removes the need for SkyLifter to turn to face into wind and greatly simplifies payload handling.
- The even distribution of payload via the suspension lines which removes the need to build heavy and complex internal support structures.
- The propulsion and directional control is provided by several cycloidal propeller systems, providing almost instant vectored thrust in the horizontal and vertical planes. The system also provides additional active automated stability control.
The vertical tube one sees connecting the aerostat and the pod is simply a flexible two-way service trunk for personnel and systems.
The design is quite different from what one may have seen before. Its simplicity-of-form may seem obvious now but it has taken many years of hard work and investment to create this overall package that delivers a practical and cost-effective turn-key solution.