Russia has initiated the design and development of a new airship that can carry up to 200 people at a speed of up to 105 mph. This top-secret project that, according to Putin, is ‘lighter than air’ will aggregate the best features of an aircraft, an airship and a hovercraft.
Two versions of this project will be developed. The firstone, the Atlant-100, is 130 meters long and can carry up to 60 tonnes at up to 140 km/hr while a swifter version, the Atlant-30, will be 75 meters long and can carry up to 16 tonnes at a maximum speed of up to 170 km/hr.
The Atlant will be used by Russia’s Defense Ministry and will cost $15 million, 30% cheaper than Russia’s Mi-26 heavy transport helicopter. It is claimed that The Atlant will also be able to access more remote locations in comparison to the other transportation means Russia currently has. The development will be carried out by Augur RosAeroSystems and its vice president, Mikhail Talesnikov, claims that the first phase of the project is estimated to be done by December.
“It uses different principles of flight. In short, it retains the advantages of airships but is cured of their primary problems.” said Mr. Tanesnikov “We also came up with the decision to make the airship harder by using special balancing system (SAB). It also has a hard shell. Not a frame faced by cloth, but a composite body.” “It is an innovative solution and this system is unique, nowhere abroad do they have that.” The Atlant will be able to withstand the extreme winter temperatures in Russia, up to -40°C. Augur RosAeroSystems also built a new airship just two years ago – the AU-30 – which could carry up to half a tonne. It would be looking to upgrade on its current inventory of airships with the upcoming Atlant models.