Keith Kothmann recently provided information about his new lenticular Airship called The Kothmann. He filed a patent for it and is currently working on building his first prototype. The United States Patent 6648272 can be read at freepatentsonline.com or you can download the PDF directly here if you don't want to read through the patent, read on since we are going to give you a little overview. The first and most noteable fact about the Kothmann Concept is the cost, compared to other airships today the project cost is estimated with less than 500,000 $ for the prototype. All of the airships components are current off the shelf technology according to it's constructor to keep the cost low and the speed of development high. The Flying Saucer shaped airship will be controlled by a variable lift technology that compresses the helium used for aero static lift when wanting to land, which reduces the neccesary ground crew. The same variable lift system can be used to trim the ship inflight to changing conditions. Due to it's design, the Airship can be stacked together with others, for heavy lift operations. To achive this the Kothmann Airship is equipped with a central cable that links the airships, and all airships would be contributing their maximum lift to the cable, on which the cargo would be transported. These are just some of the many interesting ideas behind this new Concept, even more detail can be obtained in a paper that Keith provided. It's a detailed description of the concept and a bit easier to read than the patent. Get it here: The Kothmann - Paper [PDF]
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