Saturday, May 19, 2007

Random airship stuff (ends up in court ) [updated]

Today I was just scanning the web a little finding some interesting articles and websites that I would like to share.
First of an article about the Dynalifter by Ohio Airships which was published in Popular Mechanics check it out here. The great thing about the article are the pictures showing details of the prototype. The article is from October 2006 but still i found it very interesting. It also mentions the Lockheed Martin P-791 produced by their Skunk Works Company here is a link to a very good picture of it. Also there is an Article at Aviation Week talking about the P-791 airship. If you dig a bit deeper and read the articles then one name pops up, TCOM a manufacturer of airship envelopes, they must have built the envelope for the P-791 but they also must have built the envelope for the Spirit of Dubai at least it's pictured in on their Website. It's interesting how fast you can get around jumping from one article to the other, and finding the interconnections between all the different projects. I hope you liked my little dig through the web and found something interesting for yourself. Please share your favourite links, websites and projects with us. We need your help to bring airship news to everyone.
[Update] So as if the interconnections aren't enough the Aviation Week had also spoken about and everybody interested knows already about it. The P-791 looks an awful lot like the SkyCat designed by Roger Munk and now Lockheed Martin Corporation is trying to sue him for patent infringement. Dan Nachbar from PersonalBlimp posted this on the Airship-list. Here is the link to the Courtfiling Lockheed Martin Corporation v. Jeffery Munk et al. The Courtfiling lists as Defendant Jeffery Roger Munk, Advanced Technologies Group Ltd and Skycat (UK) Ltd, so this is against the old ATG and Roger Munk. We do not know what is going on but we will keep an eye on this, and make it as public as we can, since the Sky Kitten flew way before the P-791 I would call it prior art. But I am not a lawyer and we do not know the whole picture. If anyone has more information about this case please let us know.
Also as a reminder there is the XLTA organised by Dan Nachbar from June 1-3rd 2007 read about it in one of our previous Posts.

8 comments:

Τρύφων said...

During last September I was completing a paper for a university course,on a business plan of a hypothetical passenger transportation airship enterprise.My idea and eventually the vast majority of the accumulated data were based on the Skycat project.During an interview with Managing Director of World SkyCat Ltd.Michael Stewart and having been informed about Lockheed Martin's P-791 and its test flights,I asked him wether or not was there any cooperation between the two companies, as was suggested by press releases, based on the fact of the design resemblance between Skycat and P-791.Mr Stewart answered me that no collaboration was taking place between the two companies whatsoever and accused LM of copying their patented hybrid airship design.He also stated clearly, that if LM would continue working on the P-791, World SkyCat Ltd would prosecute LM for patent infringiment, that is the very same action LM has taken against Skycat Ltd meaning the successor of World SkyCat Ltd.You can imagine my surprise reading on this webpage LM's courtfiling against Jeffery Munk and Skycat Ltd.I guess the big fish eats the little one.Let's hope it won't happen in this case.World SkyCat Ltd Managing Director Michael Stewart seemed pretty confident to me about the legal force of his arguments.

Anonymous said...

I would expect this is a matter of "deep pockets": LM can afford to have this drag out for years, while World Skycat would slowly, painfully, bleed to death via lawyers' fees and court-imposed halt on construction, marketing, etc.

SkyKitten flew in 2000.
P-791 flew in 2006.

I could see LM dragging their feet on a project, but to fly -seven years- after another company had demonstrated a functioning prototype? C'mon! LM can't be that lethargic!

Munk's US patent (6880783) was filed June 18, 2002, and issued April 19, 2005, for "lighter-than-air aircraft with air cushion landing gear." The art included looks like a SkyCat (go figure!) I don't have UK patents available, or I'd give you those.

LMs US patent (6315242) was filed December 21, 1999, issued November 13, 2001, for "propulsion system for a semi-bouyant vehicle with an aerodynamic." The art included looks vaguely like the P-791 (a combined twin-hull, but with a broad single beaver-tail with winglets, and propellors mounted across its "back". And wheels.)

The P-791 could have been drawn up using the art from Munks US patent, including propellor placement.

Andreas said...

Thanks for your comments. The Story remains a mystery and so The Skycat puzzle continues read our latest post for the newest developments from SkyCat.

Anonymous said...

Munk adopted the sky cat airship design from Lockheed when asked to consult for them in the early
1990's.
He had copies of the design drawings , and used those as the basis of the sky cat, went through several million pounds of gullible shareholders funds to get to a "sky-kitten", and some expensive cars! Then Airships went bust yet again.
Munk then re-surfaced having found another group of gullible shareholders.

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