Flying Whales, a France-based company, develops an aircraft that can lift and drop a hefty cargo without landing. The company plans to commercialize it starting in 2025.
The airplane is a blimp-like aircraft that can transport and drop off cargo mid-air. Some of the cargo ship's components are designed to be environmentally friendly, such as its hybrid-electric propulsion system.
#ParisAirShow: My favourite project is a cargo #airship by @_Flying_Whales_ . Up to 60 tonnes, lighter than air with #helium. Cool transportation of logs, pipes, transmission towers or #cables, or wind turbine blades, without infrastructures.
#PAS19 #SalonDuBourget #SIAE2019 pic.twitter.com/6jWURT26rV — Frédé·lect·ric Lesur ️ (@FredericLesur) June 18, 2019
Its floating capabilities are powered by helium, and its ability to take-off and land, which doesn't need any extra infrastructure, makes the plane more environmentally friendly. Although it has an oblong shape and is powered by helium, the LCA60T is rigid and can't easily be deflated, separating it from the usual blimp despite its exterior design.
The company initially designed the airplane to transport wood logs around areas that are hard to reach, using its capability to operate without infrastructure support. But, Flying Whales moved to a more extensive, less targeted client base.
"We realized that this solution could be used in a lot of other sectors, so the [later] goal was not to make something that was only able to work for wood transport," said Romain Schalk, the company's marketing manager.
"But we wanted to start with something because it's, generally speaking, easier to start designing something to answer a specific market," Romain added.
Flying Whales Plans to have 300 people in the design team
Flying Whales is still working with both private and state financial supporters and other clients across various industries in Asia, Canada, and Europe. The company plans to expand to the United States.
Nice airship models of @_FLYING_WHALES_ to imagine 2 & 60 ton transportation.Future is tomorrow. #ParisAirLab #ParisAirShow ️ pic.twitter.com/nIr3WdUlJs — Frédé·lect·ric Lesur ️ (@FredericLesur) June 22, 2017
When Flying Whales was just starting, it only has five to six people, then eventually to 50 employees. It also plans to expand its current 130 employees when the company starts shifting from engineering to an industrial company.
Pierre-Yves Fouillen, Flying Whales' market manager, said that the company would probably have 300 people in the design office when the program development ends.
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Written by: Giuliano de Leon.