The Aerostratos is a regional airship system designed to ferry passengers across regions of the world where roads are poorly maintained, clogged by traffic, or nonexistent. It includes a proposal to finance the deployment of regional docking stations and a way to simplify the whole flying experience.
The Aerostratos was inspired by the Airlander prototype developed by Hybrid Air Vehicles. This lighter-than-air vessel would be oriented towards regional transportation. The name ‘Aerostratos’ stands for Regional Airship for the year 2020.
How It Works
The Aerostratos is more a vision than a concept. Imagine in the future that there are hundreds of airships like this one in operations around the world. They dock on regional bases located on the outskirt of towns, on plateau and valleys inaccessible by plane. In large cities, they can dock on high-rise towers built especially for them.
The airship’s docking bases are designed to issue tickets, handle security, and process passengers very efficiently. They’re also engineered to secure the airship when it’s docked. The front of the airship would be attached automatically by robotic grips and winches. Smaller drones would be deployed to fix lateral mooring lines. The general goal would be to automate the docking process so it can be done in less than five minutes.
Operators could invest in regional hubs like a business or franchise. They would acquire the land, build the structure to specs, and incorporate additional businesses in the terminal for passengers like a Sleepbox hotel, food vendors. These stations could be prefabricated and delivered by the larger Airlander 50 (see video).
In larger cities, the docking procedures would be automated as well. The airship tower could house condominium apartments and larger commercial spaces on the lower floors.
The Aerostratos could be a model niched between the Airlander 10 and the Airlander 50. The goal would to design a cabin capable of transporting passengers with a low manufacturing cost. This means production volume would need to be high and material cost would need to be trimmed by further development.
What It’s Used For
The world’s largest countries would benefit by supporting projects like the Airlander. These airships will make it possible to transport people to remote locations without the need for huge airport infrastructure. Airships are slower than planes, but they are also quieter, and they pollute less than other forms of transportation like buses or helicopters. They could be used to ferry goods so people in rural communities could sell their products to a wider market and gain access to items not available in their area?
The Aerostratos concept was created to make us think about and discuss the new generation of airships. How will they evolve into our airspace, how they will be used, and how can we contribute to their success?
The images of the Aerostratos were produced by Ashish Thulkar, an Industrial Designer from Bangalore, India. Ashish graduated with a master’s degree in design from the Indian Institute of Science in 2014. He currently works as a freelance vehicle designer in Mumbai, India.