- SkyLifters are designed with our environmental future in mind. They use sun and the wind, with minimal emissions and negligible environmental footprint in comparison to existing alternatives.
Using sun-energy. The upper surface of the aerostat is the perfect place for solar collectors. SkyLifters can be powered by a combination of diesel-electric and solar-electric.
Using wind-energy. Another major advantage of SkyLifters over their HTA cousins is that, as a routine flight practice and if conditions permit, SkyLifters will drift with the wind, effectively with thrust-off and using just a trickle of energy to power life-support, avionics and essential systems.
Overall, their cost per tonne-kilometre will be exceptionally economic because fuel is essentially only used for propulsion, not for lifting, and therefore efficiency is similar to road transport rather than current air transport.
- No new roads, rail lines or airports are needed to support SkyLifters, and in most cases, not even a hangar is required.
Less new infrastructure. The long flight endurance enables sites to be accessed without impacting the surrounding environment. Also, without the road, the environment is further protected from the general influx of people and their vehicles. Therefore, with minimal environmental impact, SkyLifters will be ideal for supplying services to environmentally-sensitive areas.
Less impact on existing infrastructure. In the longer term, reducing oversize trucking freight would reduce the cost of road maintenance and increase safety for other road users.
Less noise pollution. Compared to other aircraft, SkyLifters will be reasonably quiet, so there likely will be minimal noise pollution for people and wildlife close to their flight paths.
Manufacture & Maintenance
- Less manufacture and less maintenance = fewer emissions and less waste
Together, the manufacture and maintenance of aircraft is usually the greatest cost of aircraft ownership and has a significant environmental impact. However, many of the materials and components used in SkyLifters is currently employed in other industries and, as such, the manufacturing and support efficiency has already been optimized. This existing knowledge helps us control our R&D costs and minimises further environmental impact.
For Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul activities (MRO), almost all of the aircraft systems are conveniently located in the pod and therefore will be readily accessible to the maintenance engineers. Hangars and other ground facilities are designed to be mobile and therefore SkyLifters require no permanent ground infrastructure or home base mooring; simply a reasonably flat secure area up to 3 times the diameter of the aircraft.