The Mobilus Initiative: Creating A New Component of the US Aerospace Industry Centered Upon Transport Airships
OFFICE OF FORCE TRANSFORMATION WASHINGTON DC
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The United States requires greater mobility to meet burgeoning military and commercial demands. The US aerospace industry shows signs of faltering improving the efficiency of the existing air transportation system and its components cannot by itself provide enough overall gain in capability to meet future commercial and military needs. Only Lighter-Than-Air LTA technology--derided, often wildly misunderstood and largely ignored for the last 50 years--actually offers the potential to provide tremendous increases in volume, speed and accessibility for air movement around the world. LTA technology offers new types of aircraft, more complete utilization of airspace, and supports a more fully networked concept to air transportation. This article describes the key militarycivilianaerospace industry needs and opportunities to show how transport airships offer a common solution to multiple problem sets. The bulk of the paper describes the Mobilus Initiative in greater detail. Mobilus is fundamentally a Vision upon which many individuals and entities can focus effort and also the method to build a major new sector of the US, and then the world, aerospace industry. By building a broad, firm industrial base of airships and related LTA applications stratospheric airships, for example and building it in a new and commercially driven manner, our Nation gains mobility and economic power perhaps even a dominant place in world aviation. Mobilus provides a coherent, logical development plan. The analysis of multiple platforms developmental paths, the high-payoff commercial applications, the methodology of how multiple public-private partnerships would create this broad capability will be the first of its kind. It will support the collaborative approach that will drive development across a broad array of technical types, varied geographic areas, and accelerate the broad capability faster than the old style approach of traditional contracts focused on one type of platform.
- Lighter-than-air Aircraft