The Aeroscraft is an innovative and revolutionary aircraft that is comprised of dozens of technologies developed or enhanced by Aeros. Key Aeroscraft technologies include:
•Control-of-static-heaviness system (COSH)
•Ceiling suspension cargo deployment system
•Vectored Thrust Engines
•Low-speed control system
These technologies enable the Aeroscraft to fly up to 6,000 nautical miles, while achieving true vertical takeoff and landing at maximum payload, to hover over unprepared surfaces, and to offload over-sized cargo directly at the point of need.
The viability of the Aeroscraft’s innovative buoyancy management technology was demonstrated in January 2013.
Generally, airships have a non-rigid structure, and these vehicles rely on the gases that fill them to retain their shape. The Aeroscraft has a rigid structural design and is the only rigid structure variable buoyancy air vehicle of its kind.
Its rigid structure is made from ultra-light aluminum and carbon fiber materials. It consists of transverse bulkheads which are connected to longitudinal members. It is reinforced with high strength composite tensioned cables.
This rigid structure provides an excellent range of hard points for mounting engines, canards, cockpit, propulsion systems, and other auxiliary systems both inside and outside of the hull.
The Aeroscraft provides precise cargo deployment without the need for infrastructure or ground personnel. It uses two innovations to accomplish this: the patent-pending COSH buoyancy management system and the proprietary ceiling suspension cargo deployment (CSCD) system that automates, weight-balances, and permits terrestrial or marine cargo deployment. The Aeroscraft's rigid shell works in concert with the internal ballast control system, which provides its runway-independent vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and hover capability, at max cargo payload, without the use of off-board ballasting.
The Aeroscraft is equipped with vectored thrust engines that rotate and allow maneuverability. In addition to aiding helicopter-like vertical take-off and landing capability, the vectored thrust propels the vehicle in forward flight and aids the vehicle with ground-based taxiing.
Replacing the more familiar landing gear found on airplanes, the Aeroscraft is equipped with landing cushions that aid the vehicles unique functionality. They aid landing on unimproved surfaces, even water, and perform like a hovercraft during taxi by pushing air through them. In addition, the landing cushions are equipped with very powerful gripping/suction capabilities that ensure the vehicle stays grounded and in place when not in flight. This reversible airflow helps hold the vehicle to the ground, even when the Aeroscraft arrives at destination for cargo offloading, allowing it to operate in heavier wind conditions.
When in forward flight, the Aeroscraft is controlled by the aerodynamic control surfaces (vertical stabilizers, empennages and canards); however, the low speed control system aids the pilot in lower wind conditions such as during VTOL and hover. The LSC system acts as a rear thruster to propel the vehicle in forward flight, and permits the thrust to be redirected while in hover to help the vehicle maintain desired positioning and orientation.
Energy Converter (EC): Energy converters control the compression of helium to a determined pressure by moving helium into helium pressure envelopes at high speeds using a system of pipes and control valves.
Helium Pressure Envelopes (HPE): The COSH system compresses helium into HPEs. The HPE units contain and control the compressed helium and control the helium pressure within the vehicle. This enabling the Aeroscraft to become heavy or buoyant in a controlled manner.
Air Expansion Vessels (AEV): The compression of helium into the HPEs creates a negative pressure within the Aeroshell, permitting air-expansion vessel to fill with readily-available environmental ballast (air). The air acts in concert with the reduced Helium lift to make the Aeroscraft heavier when desired.
COSH is Aeros’ solution to the external ballast required by conventional airships. The pilot can configure the vehicle to decrease static lift during landing for the offload of personnel and cargo taking on external ballast.
Unlike other airships, the Aeroscraft is the only vehicle with COSH. COSH is an internal, patent-pending system that controls the vehicle's buoyancy so that the vehicle is heavier-than-air during ground operations and lighter-than-air during flight. The COSH system compresses non-flammable helium into the helium pressure envelopes to allow the vehicle to manage buoyant lift similarly to submarine's ballast management under water. COSH allows the Aeroscraft to act as a “flying submarine.”