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Icelandic airship plan ready for lift off

[ November 26, 2013   //   ]

Icelandair Cargo is to set up a partnership with US-based Aeroscraft corporation to develop transport by airship in the Arctic region. Aeroscraft is developing a new design of airship that can control its own buoyancy, capable of handling heavy payloads but without the need to add or jetison ballast as with existing airship designs.

The two partners would deliver standard containers via a hub in Iceland to destinations such as Greenland, Siberia, Alaska and northern Canada where infrastructure is currently lacking and which has hinded the development of natural resources in the region. Aeroscraft says that it can also offer significant fuel savings compared with convential aircraft. Moreover, with its vertical take-off and landing capability, it does not need large runways.

Aeroscraft plans to have a fleet of 22 airships ready for operation in 2016 offering, respectively, cargo capacity of 66 tons and a range of 3,100 miles or 250 tons and a range of 6,000 miles.

Icelandair would be able to provide connections on its scheduled services between Reykjavik and 35 cities in 16 countries on both sides of the Atlantic.

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