In disaster zones, people affected are usually cut off from the outside world and unreachable due to destroyed infrastructure. Previously, rescue and aid supply took place with the help of helicopters and airplanes and the further distribution with trucks. However, helicopters are very expensive and very limited in capacity, coverage and operating time.
With an airplane, only the airport can be reached, and only if the airport itself was not destroyed or flooded. The reloading of aid supplies from airplanes to trucks is time-consuming. In addition, slow-moving trucks can only get as far as the extent of the navigable street network. Sometimes trucks need to be flown in to sites. This takes up valuable space which could have been used for supplies, meaning that fewer aid supplies can be delivered.
In the past, it could often take up to 7 days until aid actually reached those who needed it most. This is clearly far too long. Through the deployment of our airships, we can drastically reduce the length of time between the alert and the arrival of the first large-scale delivery of aid supplies.
All transport options currently in use are either conditional on a functional airport or the presence of intact infrastructure. Our airships can reach their goal, regardless of time or circumstances.
Since the aid supplies do not need to be unloaded and reloaded during the journey, the time until they reach those in need is enormously reduced. The return flight can be used to dispose of debris or to evacuate people. This allows a markedly quicker reconstruction process. The helicopter-like characteristics of the airships makes them independent of on-ground infrastructure. They require no ground staff or load-balancing and can be loaded and unloaded day and night – even during gale-force winds (up to Beaufort Scale 9). On top of this they offer an enormous carrying capacity of between 10 and 500 tons per airship, depending on the airship itself. A further advantage is that the technical design of the airships allows them to take off at night. Once again, this leads to considerable time savings.
All of this is possible because our airships have been developed from the basis of an old commission of the German Navy from 1987.
This commission required:
These requirements were fulfilled. The complete technical solution was checked by multiple aeronautical institutions, and the operational capacity and feasibility were confirmed. The former manufacturer of the airships (not the Navy) had invested millions of Euros before the downfall of Cargolifter. To avoid the danger of the potential of these airships being threatened by this downfall, they then withdrew voluntarily from the market. The predevelopment and design phase including static simulation, as well as the preliminary work for dynamic simulation had however been successfully completed.
The work of these phases has been provided to the board of Airship Rescue, and the content has once again been emphatically confirmed in telephone conversations with the former heads of development. One of the studies was reviewed at our request in 2014 and was even expanded to include this amendment: “With these properties, the airship is also especially well suited to non-military missions, e.g. for disaster relief applications”.
The airships incorporate a fit-out specific to rescue purposes, which can be quickly and flexibly amended if required.